What would it take to steal from your own flesh and blood? For one woman, the price was a $1 million scratch-off ticket.
Man Wins $1 Million Through The New York State Lottery
When the unnamed man purchased the lottery ticket in November 2020, he likely had little hope that the five-dollar bet would net him $1 million (minus the substantial tax cut, of course).
So, when the Texas Hold ‘Em-themed lotto ticket proved to be a golden ticket, he decided that paying his cousin $50,000 to cash it would be money well-spent.
After all, the man wanted to remain anonymous, heeding the cautionary tales of lottery winners whose lives were forever altered by the pseudo-fame that comes with instant riches.
His Cousin Had Ambitions That $50,000 Could Not Fulfill
Realizing that $50,000 was not nearly as much as $1 million, the lottery winner’s devious cousin concocted a plan fit for an HBO documentary (McMillions, anyone?).
Rather than accepting her five-figure cut for merely cashing the ticket on her cousin’s behalf, 34-year-old Iris Amador Argueta decided to lie.
Rather than deducting her $50,000 and wiring the remaining $487,000, Amador Argueta told her cousin that, despite what he thought he had won, the Texas Hold ‘Em scratch-off ticket was really worth only $20,000. In her defense, it’s understandable that someone would read $20,000 but think they see $1,000,000.
Amador Argueta even went so far as to forge paperwork from the New York State Lottery to bolster her rouse. And yet, this little Ocean’s Eleven-style scheme would ultimately come crashing down.
As It Turns Out, The Lottery Winner Was Not an Idiot
As airtight as Iris Amador Argueta believed her con to be, her cousin was not, in fact, born yesterday. But, Amador Argueta did actually get away with the heist for quite a while.
It wasn’t until the actual winner say a press release naming his cousin as the winner of a $1 million scratch-off that he knew Amador Argueta had been lying to him.
The victim immediately realized that $13,000 and change (what his cousin said he had truly won, after taxes and her cut) was a paltry fraction of his actual winnings. He contacted law enforcement authorities, explained that kin-on-kin criminality, and presumably provided his cousin’s whereabouts.
Amador Argueta was arrested in November 2021.
All Was Eventually Made Right
The victim ultimately received more than $300,000 in winnings from the cousin who stole from him, and Amador Argueta is expected to face between 1.5 and 4 years in prison for her crime.
This all leads to an unavoidable question: Is losing a cousin’s trust and potentially serving 4 years in prison worth a legitimate shot at more than $300,000?
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.