California man pleads guilty to defrauding millions of dollars from luxury car owners after HSI investigation

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LOS ANGELES – 41-year-old Geoffrey Eldridge Hull, of Los Angeles, California pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud Thursday after a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

According to court records, Hull 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.

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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.

HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move.

HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest global footprints in U.S. law enforcement.