Los Angeles, CA–A California man pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud Thursday after a probe by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations.
According to court records, 41-year-old Geoffrey Eldridge Hull, of Los Angeles marketed himself and his companies as being able to find people to take over leases for high-end and exotic cars owners. Hull agreed to cover monthly payments and promised leaseholders that he would quickly find credit-qualified buyers to assume the lease through the original finance company. Hull and his companies did not fulfill their promises despite assuring victims that his venture was successful.
Additionally, Hull offered the luxury cars for rent and passed little of the rent money onto the original leaseholders, who were still responsible for the payments. Furthermore, Hull made few, if any, timely car lease payments. He ignored victims’ requests to return their vehicles, prompting some to report their cars stolen. When several of the cars were returned after law enforcement seizures, repossession, and other means, the cars were often damaged, had incurred toll and parking violations, and had been driven over the allotted mileage.
Victims posted negative reviews online about Hull and his company. That prompted him to change his company’s name and resume the scheme. Hull defrauded at least 128 people and caused an actual loss of at least $1,560,321. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.