LOS ANGELES – A Baldwin Hills man is due to be charged this afternoon with federal charges that he has caused victims from across the nation to give him their high-quality, exotic vehicles with false promises that he would find other people to do their rental contracts .
Geoffrey Eldridge Hull, 40, who had offices on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, was arrested on Wednesday evening by Homeland Security Specialist (ICE) agents for Homeland Security Investigation (HSI). Hull was arrested on charges of federal federal jury charges for six wire fraud cases related to his leasing program.
Hull reportedly marketed himself and the various companies he ran to find people who could take over luxury car rental contracts from people who wanted to get out of the rental contracts for their Bentleys, Ferraris, Porsches, Maseratis, and other high-end automobiles. Hull agreed to cover the monthly lease payments and promised the tenants that he would quickly find a "credit-qualified buyer who legally takes over the lease through the original finance company," the indictment in which Hull employed a long-time friend and business partner have vouched for the quality of the program.
Despite the victims' assurances that his project was successful, the indictment found that Hull and his companies could not find anyone to take over these leases. Instead, Hull offered the luxury cars for rent and passed on little of the rental money to the original tenants, who were still responsible for the lease payments. In addition, Hull reportedly made few, if any, timely lease payments.
Hull routinely ignored victims' requests to return their vehicles and caused some stolen cars to be reported to law enforcement officials, according to court documents. When some victims' cars were returned after confiscation, repossession, and other law enforcement means, the cars were often damaged, toll and parking violated, and driven over the assigned mileage.
"Customers and local and federal law enforcement agencies repeatedly told Hull that his business was fraudulent, Hull had been civilly sued several times for fraud and willful misrepresentation, received dozens of lawyers' letters of formal notice, and was questioned by the media about his failure to sign a rental agreement as promised, ”says a criminal complaint previously filed in this case.
When victims posted negative reviews about Hull and his company online, Hull changed his company name and resumed, as court documents claim. The company names that Hull used to operate its program included Exotic Lease Transfer, Luxe Lease Transfer, Shift Lease, Veer Lease, Torque Transfer, Haven Transfer, Early Lease and Open Lease Transfer. Hull, who has had three previous Grand Theft Auto convictions, is said to have used a number of aliases under the program, including "Geoff Eldredge", "Geoff Eldridge", "Jefrii Eldridge", "Geoffrey Hulle", "Jeff Bluthenthal" . "And" Jeff H. "
HSI special agents have so far identified approximately 115 victims from across the nation. The estimated losses in this case exceed $ 1 million. Agents believe there are unidentified victims, and anyone with information on the subject is asked to call the Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line at 866-DHS-2-ICE (866-347-2423).
If Hull is convicted of the six wire fraud cases alleged in the indictment, he faces a maximum legal sentence of 120 years in federal prison.
This case has been investigated by HSI Los Angeles and is being pursued by the U.S. attorney for the Major Frauds, Public Corruption and Civil Rights sections of the Central District of California.