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Cops: Man Faked Abduction to Get Out of Super Bowl Payout

Robert Brandel allegedly lost his pool, didn't have the money to pay winners
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2019 8:02 AM CST
Robert Brandel.   (New York State Police)

(Newser) – The Los Angeles Rams weren't the only Super Bowl losers. A 60-year-old New York man was arrested Wednesday over what police say was a fake abduction tied to a Super Bowl betting scheme. The Buffalo News reports Robert Brandel of North Tonawanda was discovered bound in the back seat of his Ford F-150 in a parking lot in Newfane on Wednesday. He claimed to have picked up two participants in the pool two days prior, who he claimed had a gun and took $16,000 in pool money from him. He says they then forced him to drive around the western part of the state until Tuesday night, at which point they bound him with duct tape, attached a rope to his neck and a headrest, and left him in his truck. Not so, say authorities.

They allege Brandel found himself in deep water over that pool, which they claim was itself a scam. Brandel allegedly created a $50,000 Super Bowl squares pool but put fictional names on some of the squares, hoping he'd walk with the bulk of the winnings. That didn't happen, and he ended up unable to pay out most of the $50,000 he owed. NY State Trooper James O'Callaghan tells WKBW one thing that tipped them off: "We're on the third day when we find him, but he's pretty clean shaved around his beard." Brandel faces a felony charge of first-degree scheme to defraud, as well as a misdemeanor false-report charge. (Read more weird crimes stories.)

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