Woman forges lottery documents after stealing cousin's $1 million jackpot winnings

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Monday, January 23, 2023
Woman pleads guilty to stealing cousin's $1 million lottery jackpot
The Nassau County DA says the victim won a $1 million prize on a scratch-off ticket in 2020.

A woman is facing up to four years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing her cousin's lottery jackpot winnings.

Iris Amador Argueta, 34, pleaded guilty on Friday to one count of second-degree grand larceny.

According to a press release, the victim bought a $5 Hold' Em Poker scratch-off in October 2020 and revealed he had won the $1 million jackpot prize.

Wishing to stay anonymous, he offered his cousin, Argueta, $50,000 to drive up from Virginia and cash the ticket in New York State.

According to police, Argueta drove to her cousin's home, claimed the winning ticket, and mailed it. According to the lottery officials, Argueta opted to take the prize money as a one-time lump sum of $537,000.

Authorities say that Argueta then presented her cousin with forged documents stating that he had only won $20,000.

It wasn't until the victim noticed that in a press release by lottery officials that he discovered his cousin was declared the winner who claimed the jackpot earnings.

He then contacted Argueta, who said she didn't see any additional money. Argueta threatened to take legal action against her cousin if he continued to contact her.

Argueta was arrested in November 2021 in Texas. In May, she forfeited $317,857 in winnings from her bank account, which was returned to her cousin, the district attorney's office said.

According to the DA's office, Argueta is expected back in court on March 15 and is facing up to four years in prison.