Woman charged with stealing $1 million lottery ticket from cousin

Man trusted his relative to cash in winnings, but she kept the money for herself, authorities say

A Houston woman was arrested Monday after her cousin in New York claimed she ran off with a winning $1 million lottery ticket that he trusted her to cash in for him.

Iris Amador Argueta, 32, faces felony charges of grand larceny and possession of forged documents, according to NBC4 in New York, which cited the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office.

ExploreSEPTEMBER: Michigan man found dead on beach with winning lottery ticket in pocket

The alleged caper began a year ago at a convenience store in Glen Cove, where the man purchased a $5 scratch-off in the New York Lottery’s “Hold ‘Em Poker” game, NBC4 reported.

The buyer soon realized that he had a $1 million jackpot in his hands.

Wanting to remain anonymous, however, he offered to give Argueta a $50,000 cut if she would cash in the ticket for him.

Authorities said Argueta agreed to the arrangement, but instead of following through with the deal, she cooked up a scheme to keep most of the money for herself, NBC4 reported.

ExploreMAY: $26 million winning lottery ticket lost in load of laundry

After cashing the ticket, she showed up at her cousin’s house weeks later with $13,000 in cash and phony lottery paperwork that purported to show he had only won $20,000 and that $7,000 had been withheld for taxes.

Meanwhile, the New York Lottery announced publicly that Argueta had claimed the million dollar prize, which came out to $537,440 after taxes.

From there, it wasn’t long before the man realized he had been duped.

ExploreAUGUST: South Carolina man wins lottery twice in 11 days

He reached out to Argueta, who denied she had pocketed the winnings and threatened legal action if he continued to pursue her over the matter, NBC4 reported.

Authorities later seized the woman’s bank account and recovered nearly $318,000.