Geoffrey Eldridge Hull, a Baldwin Hills man pleaded guilty to wire fraud. He conned people all over the U.S. into giving him their high-end and exotic cars with bogus promises he would find other people to take over their car leases. From April 2016 to November 2019, Hull marketed himself and his companies as being able to find people to take over leases for high-end and exotic car – such as Bentleys, Ferraris and Maseratis. But he never found people to take over these leases.
Hull agreed to cover monthly lease payments and promised leaseholders that he would quickly find credit-qualified buyers to legally assume the lease through the original finance company. Hull used a longtime friend and business associate to vouch for the quality of the program. Instead, Hull rented out the cars, gave the original leaseholders, who were still responsible for the lease payments, a little money. Hull made a few timely car lease payments. Hull refused to give the cars back to the leaseholders and some reported their cars stolen. Some leaseholders got their cars returned after the police seized them or they were repossessed. Some cars were damaged, had parking tickets, or or had been driven over the allotted mileage.
When the leaseholders posted negative reviews online about Hull and his company, Hull would change his company name and resume the scheme. The company names Hull used to operate his scheme included Exotic Lease Transfer, Luxe Lease Transfer, Shift Lease, Veer Lease, Torque Transfer, Haven Transfer, Early Lease, and Open Lease Transfer. Hull, who already had three prior convictions for grand theft auto, also used a series of aliases as part of the scheme, including “Geoff Eldredge,” “Geoff Eldridge,” “Jefrii Eldridge,” “Geoffrey Hulle,” “Jeff Bluthenthal,” and “Jeff H.” Hull defrauded at least 128 people and caused an actual loss of at least $1,560,321.
Hull faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.