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.
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.
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.