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New York Man Offers Cousin $50K to Claim $1M Lotto Ticket on His Behalf. Instead, She Claimed the Ticket for Herself. Now She Faces Jail Time for Her Scam.

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A 34-year-old woman pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny in Nassau County, New York, after admitting to stealing her cousin’s $1 million jackpot won from a scratch-off ticket. Iris Amador Argueta’s cousin asked her to claim the prize on his behalf because he wanted to remain anonymous; he offered her $50,000 of the winnings. Instead, Argueta pocketed most of the money. She now faces up to four years in prison. Nassau County district attorney’s office announced the plea deal in a press release on Friday, Jan. 20. Argueta, who now lives in Houston, was asked by her cousin to claim a jackpot prize won from a $5 Hold ’Em Poker scratch-off ticket on Oct. 28, 2020. He purchased the ticket from a 7-Eleven convenience store in Glen Cove, New York. Argueta lived in Virginia then but agreed to claim the prize on her cousin’s behalf and drove to New York. Glen Cove is a city that sits on the north shore of Long Island, New York, making for a roughly eight-and-a-half-hour drive from Virginia. The New York Gaming Commission wasn’t accepting winning tickets in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so Argueta instead mailed the ticket on Nov. 13, 2020,...