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Lawmaker Costa's sister charged with theft, forgery in connection with family properties

| Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, 11:45 a.m.

Detectives with the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office on Monday filed theft and forgery charges against the sister of Democratic state Rep. Dom Costa, accusing her of taking properties the siblings inherited from their father.

Angeline Costa-Gifford, 56, surrendered to authorities and is awaiting arraignment, said Mike Manko, spokesman for District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. She is charged with a dozen counts each of felony theft and forgery.

Detectives said Costa-Gifford, a paralegal at the law firm Tucker Arensberg, Downtown, fraudulently transferred the deeds of five properties out of the names of her siblings and into the names of her husband and son in 2006.

Detectives said two employees in her office, Debra J. Paranay and Cynthia Rago, notarized the documents.

Costa, D-Stanton Heights and the Pittsburgh police chief under the late Mayor Bob O'Connor, alerted authorities of the situation in July. A spokeswoman for Costa called it “an unfortunate family incident” and declined further comment.

The amount of Costa-Gifford's bond was not immediately available.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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