LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A Baldwin Hills man was arrested Wednesday on federal allegations he ran a con on dozens of victims in which he convinced them he could find people to take over the leases on their luxury cars.
Geoffrey Hull, 40, was arrested by Homeland Security Investigations agents on six counts of wire fraud, the U.S. Attorney's Office reported Thursday.
Hull operated out of offices on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.
According to prosecutors, Hull ran several companies through which he targeted people who were looking to find others to take over the leases on their cars.
CBS2 investigative reporter David Goldstein has reported on Hull's activities twice over the past 11 years — the second time in 2019.
In 2008, Hull was arrested after the first of CBS2's investigations. He was convicted on two counts of grand theft and served 15 months in prison.
Now, prosecutors allege he conned at least 115 people nationwide into handing over the leases on the Bentleys, Ferraris, Porsches, Maseratis and other such vehicles by convincing them that he would cover the lease payments himself until he found other qualified buyers.
Instead, however, Hull rented out the vehicles and kept most of the money for himself, making hardly any lease payments and passing very little of the rent money on to the original lease holders, the complaint reads.
He also often ignored their requests to return the vehicles, forcing them to file stolen car reports with law enforcement agencies, the Justice Department said.
Hull would also change the name of his company when he got negative reviews online. Some of the names of his company include Exotic Lease Transfer, Luxe Lease Transfer, Shift Lease, Veer Lease, Torque Transfer and Haven Transfer.
"Customers and local and federal law enforcement repeatedly told Hull his business was fraudulent, Hull was sued civilly several times for fraud and intentional misrepresentation, he received dozens of demand letters from attorneys, and he was interviewed by the media about his failure to make lease payments as promised," according to the complaint.
He is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court Thursday. He faces a maximum sentence of 120 years in prison if convicted as charged.
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