Birmingham Home Builder Pleads Guilty to $1.2 Million-Dollar Fraud

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A Birmingham man has pleaded guilty to defrauding more than a dozen victims whose homes he had promised to build, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Carlton L. Peeples.

Cecil Wayne Sanford, 58, of Birmingham, pleaded guilty this week before Judge Annemarie Carney Axon to one count of wire fraud.

According to the plea agreement, Sanford was a residential builder in Alabama who operated through his business, Stone Pointe Builders, LLC. Between 2020 and early 2022, more than a dozen victims in the Birmingham area contracted with Sanford to build their homes and paid Sanford substantial sums of money (tens of thousands of dollars or more). Yet the victims saw little or no work done despite Sanford’s representations, draws on their construction loans, and invoices for construction-related expenses. Sanford made statements to victims about how their funds would be used and then spent the money in other ways, including to pay his own living expenses. In February 2022, days after closing with a family on a construction contract and collecting more than $27,000 from the family as a down payment, Sanford moved $10,000 into his personal bank account, withdrew it, abruptly closed the business, and left town. In his plea agreement, Sanford agreed to pay restitution to victims totaling more than $1.2 million.

Sanford will be sentenced later this year.

The maximum penalty for wire fraud is twenty years in prison.

The FBI investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney J.B. Ward is prosecuting it. The Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board assisted in the investigation.