Jefferson Hills woman sentenced in property-rights case

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A Jefferson Hills woman found guilty last week on only one of 17 counts against her in a dispute over her father's property was sentenced this morning to one year of probation.

Angeline Costa Gifford, 57, was initially charged with felony counts of forgery and theft, but a jury acquitted her on those counts and found her guilty of only unsworn falsification.

The prosecution alleged that she forged the signatures of her half-siblings on four deeds belonging to their father's rental properties.

The deeds removed those half-siblings from being part owners of the property.

In voicemail messages to her half-brother, state Rep. Dom Costa, D-Stanton Heights, and in an interview with investigators, Ms. Gifford admitted signing the names but said her father made her do it.

At trial, her defense attorney argued that his client had nothing to gain from changing the deeds, and that Ms. Gifford was simply following the wishes of her father, who had always owned the properties.

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