Cuyahoga County

Golf legend Charlie Sifford's son sentenced to prison for pilfering estate

8/18/2016

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The youngest son of African-American golf pioneer Charlie Sifford was sentenced to 36 months in prison Thursday for robbing his father's estate.

Cuyahoga Common Pleas Judge Peter J. Corrigan sentenced Craig Sifford to prison, along with his ex-wife, Sandra Sifford, who got 30 months, although he said the two would be eligible for judicial release sooner.

The Siffords pleaded guilty in July to stealing $315,000 from the late golfer's estate.

Charlie Sifford was the first black man to compete on the PGA Tour and was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 2014 by President Barack Obama.

But the famed golfer struggled with memory loss later in his life and moved from Charlotte, North Carolina to Brecksville, where he was under Sifford's care.

The couple made payments to themselves over a three-year period out of Charlie Sifford's estate, including a $40,000 check to pay off a mortgage at Craig Sifford's home and a $120,000 wire transfer to his private waste-management business.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Paul Soucie told the judge that Charlie Sifford was taken advantage of during the most vulnerable period of his life.

"He trusted his family, and over a period of time they helped themselves to their inheritance," Soucie told the judge. "That man, that American, that golfer, he deserved better than what he got."

Read the entire story at Cleveland.com.