A Baldwin Hills man pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal criminal charge of conning victims nationwide into giving him their high-end and exotic vehicles.

Geoffrey Eldridge Hull, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a news release.

From April 2016 to November 2019, Hull marketed himself and his companies as being in the position to find people to take over leases for high-end and exotic car — such as Bentleys, Ferraris and Maseratis — from individuals no longer wishing to continue their leases, according to his plea agreement obtained by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Despite assuring victims that his venture was successful, Hull and his companies did not find people to take over these leases, the news release states.

Using a longtime friend and business associate to vouch for the quality of his program, Hull promised leaseholders that he would quickly find credit-qualified buyers to legally assume the lease through the original finance company and he agreed to cover monthly lease payments in the meantime.

But Hull offered the luxury cars for rent and passed little of the rent money to the original leaseholders, who were still responsible for lease payments. And so, Hull made few, if any, timely car lease payments.

He ignored victims’ requests for the return of their vehicles, prompting some to make stolen car reports to law enforcement agencies. When some victims’ cars were returned after law enforcement seizures, repossession and other means, the cars were often damaged, had incurred toll and parking violations, or had been driven over the allotted mileage, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

When victims posted negative reviews about Hull and his company online, Hull would change his company name and resume the scheme. The company names Hull used to operate the scheme included Exotic Lease Transfer, Luxe Lease Transfer, Shift Lease, Veer Lease, Torque Transfer, Haven Transfer, Early Lease and Open Lease Transfer.

Hull, who has 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.”

In total, Hull defrauded at least 128 individuals and caused an actual loss of at least $1,560,321, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 26, at which time Hull will face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.