Woman pleads guilty to stealing cousin’s  million lottery prize

Woman pleads guilty to stealing cousin’s $1 million lottery prize

Woman pleads guilty to stealing cousin’s  million lottery prize



CNN

A Texas woman has pleaded guilty to a criminal charge and faces up to four years in prison for stealing her cousin’s $1 million New York state lottery prize, officials said.

Iris Amador Argueta, 34, pleaded guilty on Friday to a count of second-degree theft after allegedly stealing a $1 million scratch card from her cousin and claiming more than $500,000 of her winnings in November 2020, according to with a press release from Nassau County Attorney’s Office.

Argueta’s cousin purchased a $5 Hold ‘Em Poker ticket from the New York State Lottery in October 2020, which revealed he won a $1 million prize, according to the press release.

The cousin asked Argueta to trade the winning lottery ticket for $50,000 because he wanted to remain anonymous, the district attorney’s office said.

Argueta, who lived in Virginia at the time, drove to his cousin’s residence, took possession of the winning ticket and sent it to the New York State Lottery to claim the prize, according to police. She opted to receive the cash prize as a one-time payment from lottery officials that totaled over $537,000, according to a press release from lottery officials in December 2020.

Argueta told his cousin that the lottery ticket only netted $20,000 and gave him an envelope with $13,436, claiming the rest was taken for taxes, according to the prosecution. Argueta even presented his cousin with false documents from lottery officials detailing the winnings, according to police.

Argueta’s attorney, Lauriano Guzman, declined to comment in a phone call to CNN. The New York State Gaming Commission sent comments to the district attorney’s office.

It wasn’t until the victim stumbled across a press release from the New York State Lottery that she discovered that her cousin had been announced as the winner who claimed the $1 million dollar prize and that she had received over $500,000 , said the district attorney’s office.

The victim called Argueta after seeing the press release, and she insisted she had no additional money and said he would “suffer legal consequences” if he continued to contact her, according to the district attorney’s office.

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

Argueta “should be sentenced to 1-1/3 years to 4 years in prison” on March 15, according to the district attorney’s office.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *