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Custom home builder pleads guilty to defrauding McLean residents

A construction worker on a house building frame (via Josh Olalde on Unsplash)

(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) A 57-year-old contractor from Centreville could face up to two decades in jail for using his custom home building company to defraud McLean homeowners.

Pedro Felipe Valdes Sanchez pleaded guilty yesterday to defrauding “several couples” who hired his company to build or remodel their houses in and around McLean, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced.

Unfolding from at least May 2017 through April 2018, the scheme saw Valdes take money from customers who believed he would use it to perform contracted work on their properties, according to the Department of Justice:

In the end, Valdes performed minimal work on these customers’ homes, sometimes only demolishing the existing residence on the customers’ property. Valdes also convinced one customer to lend him money by misrepresenting his company’s financial situation. He sometimes used client funds for personal expenses and routinely used funds from one client to fund another client’s projects.

Valdes targeted three couples, according to court documents, the DOJ told FFXnow.

Valdes’s plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema and announced by U.S. Attorney Jessica D. Aber and FBI Washington Field Office Special Agent in Charge Wayne Jacobs.

Valdes could be given a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

“Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties,” the DOJ said in its news release.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 14, 2023.

Photo via Josh Olalde on Unsplash