Indictment Describes Long-Running Elder Abuse, Theft Scheme Against Late Golfer Charlie Sifford

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Sifford, 1961 - WIKIPEDIA
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  • Sifford, 1961
Craig and Sandra Sifford, the son and daughter-in-law of the late golfer Charlie Sifford, were indicted this week for stealing upwards of $1 million from Charlie's personal financial accounts before he died.

The indictment covers theft, money laundering and unauthorized use of property. Sandra was also charged with receiving stolen property.

Court documents show that Craig had been appointed the successor trustee of his father's living trust in 2013 and the agent of his father's power of attorney earlier in 2010. In those roles, according to court documents, Craig had access to his father's accounts at Morgan Stanley, PNC Bank and Bank of America. In September 2013 alone, according to Probate Court records, Charlie Sifford's financial assets were drained by more than $50,000.

"Upon learning that Charles L. Sifford, Sr. was incapacitated because he was impaired as to medical and financial decision making, Craig L. Sifford accepted the Charles L. Sifford Trust Successor Trustee position on August 6, 2013," according to a signed affidavit from Charles Sifford Jr. — Craig's brother — that details Craig's path through the Cuyahoga County Probate Court in his father's guardianship case.

"Craig L. Sifford's expenditures continue at obscene rates through the use of credit and the writing of checks via the Trust account," the affidavit describes. 

The elder Sifford is credited often as "the Jackie Robinson of golf" for his role in breaking the sport's color barrier in 1961. He died at age 92 earlier this year.


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