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New York Man Faked His Own Kidnapping To Avoid Super Bowl Payouts, Police Say

Robert Brandel told New York State Troopers that two men involved in his Super Bowl pool robbed him of $16,000, drove him around for two days and left him tied up in his pickup, but investigators say his face gave him away.

By Ethan Harfenist
Robert Brandel

State police say a western New York man faked his own abduction and robbery because he was short of cash owed in a Super Bowl pool.

Troopers found 60-year-old Robert Brandel of North Tonawanda tied up in his pickup truck Monday in a parking lot in Newfane, 30 miles north of Buffalo.

Brandel told troopers two men involved in his Super Bowl squares robbed him of $16,000, drove him around for two days and left him tied up in his pickup.

“Troopers located the blue Ford F-150 parked with a single male occupant in the back seat with a rope tied around his neck attached to the head rest with his hands and ankles bound with duct tape,” police said in a press release.  

Investigators, however, became suspicious after they noticed he was clean-shaven.

"We're on the third day when we find him, but he's pretty clean shaved around his beard," Trooper James O’Callaghan said, according to WKBW. "A normal person that's abducted and has gone through something like that, their heart rate would be very high, they're very worried, depressed, a lot of emotions that will be bubbling up."

Investigators determined Brandel had entered some fake names in his $50,000 squares pool hoping to take most of the winnings, but instead ended up short for the payouts.

"And now he can't make the money up to the people who obviously or eventually won this football pool," O’Callaghan added.

Brandel was charged with fraud and falsely reporting an incident. It's not clear if he was a lawyer to comment on his behalf.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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