A WOMAN allegedly stole her cousin’s $1million scratchcard winnings after he asked her to cash the prize for him so he could remain anonymous.
Iris Amador Argueta, 32, from Houston, Texas, is also accused of forging lottery documents to throw her cousin off the scent after only transferring a small amount of the jackpot to him in Long Island, New York, prosecutors say.
The suspect allegedly stole her cousin’s winning from a New York State scratchcard[/caption]
The unnamed winner bought a $5 ‘Hold ’Em Poker’ scratchcard at a 7-Eleven store in Glen Cove, New York State last month, reports NBC.
After scooping the jackpot, he asked his cousin to claim the lottery win on his behalf for a fee of $50,000 so he could remain anonymous, according to prosecutors.
The victim’s prosecution team also said that she drove to New York State to collect the ticket before mailing it to the lottery company due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The woman allegedly sent her cousin a fake document from the lottery company along with $13,436 in cash, claiming that New York State withheld the rest for taxes.
Prosecutors also accuse the suspect of receiving a $537,440 lump sum after authorities issued a statement championing the man’s jackpot win.
The suspect allegedly threatened her cousin with legal action after he confronted her over the incident.
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Officials in New York’s Nassau County said they have already recovered over half the stolen amount from the suspect’s bank account.
Acting District Attorney Joyce Smith said: “This defendant exploited her cousin’s trust, allegedly lying and manipulating him with the aim of pocketing the lion’s share of his $1m winning lottery ticket for herself.
“Thanks to a great working partnership with the Glen Cove Police Department, we’ve recovered more than $300,000 in allegedly stolen funds and will vigorously prosecute this case.”
The suspect has been charged with grand larceny and could face up to 15 years in jail if convicted.