There's a saying in the streets: It be your own people. That means sometimes the folks that will do you the dirtiest will be your own family and those closest to you. We came across one such story today as a woman who abused the trust of a family member and is now going to have to answer for it.

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It All Began Last Year In New York

According to NBC New York, 32-year-old Iris Argueta was asked by her cousin to cash in a winning $5 "Hold 'Em Poker" lottery ticket because he wanted to remain anonymous. Her cousin agreed to pay her $50,000 in exchange for her claiming the prize from the $5 scratch off ticket that was purchased in Glen Cove, New York. Sound like a good deal right? $50K just to claim a ticket, no problem right?

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Of course after learning of this, Argueta, who lived in Virginia at the time, drove to her cousin’s residence in New York state, took possession of the winning ticket and mailed it into the New York State Lottery to claim the winnings. She opted to received the prize money as a one-time lump sum payment that totaled over $537,000. Now mind you, she's still supposed to get at $50,000 of that so all in all still a good payday.

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But instead of being up front and getting her cut, Argueta got greedy and stole the money from her cousin with an elaborate ruse. She told her cousin that the lottery ticket actually only won $20,000, not $1 million, and gave him an envelope with $13,436, claiming the rest was taken out for taxes. She even went as far as to present her cousin with forged paperwork from lottery officials detailing the winnings. Unfortunately it didn't dawn on her unnamed cousin what happened until he saw the lottery official’s press release stating that Argueta did claim the $1 million lottery ticket. That's when law enforcement was called in.

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The dirty cousin took off with the rest of the money and moved to Houston where she was probably starting to live her best life before the truth came crashing down. She surrendered to police and was charged with one count of grand larceny in the second degree and two counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree. Police said they were able to recover more than $317,000 of the allegedly stolen funds from Argueta’s bank account which is being held. If convicted Argueta could face 5 to 15 years in prison.

This cousin could be free with $50,000 in her pocket right now but now she's in jail with nothing. The classic song by The O'Jays reminds us that money will make you steal from your own brother or in this case...cousin.

 

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