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Man faked his own kidnapping to avoid paying Super Bowl bet, New York police say

Robert Brandel, 60, was found tied up in his truck

Robert Brandel, 60, is accused of faking his own kidnapping to avoid paying a Super Bowl bet. (New York State Police)
Robert Brandel, 60, is accused of faking his own kidnapping to avoid paying a Super Bowl bet. (New York State Police)

NEWFANE, N.Y. – A New York man was arrested Wednesday after police said he faked his own abduction to avoid payment on a Super Bowl bet.

Robert Brandel, 60, was found by police on Wednesday tied up in his blue Ford F-150 in a parking lot north of Buffalo. Officers said there was a rope tied around his neck and his hands and ankles were bound with duct tape.

Police said Brandel told them he was picked up Monday by two men who had bought Super Bowl squares from him. He said the men kidnapped him with a gun and took $16,000 in cash. According to Brandel, the men then spent two days driving him around Western New York before tying him up and leaving him in his car.

Investigators said a lot of things with Brandel's story seemed off.

"We're on the third day when we find him, but he's pretty clean shaved around his beard," Trooper James O'Callaghan told 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."

According to police, Brandel ran a $50,000 payout pool in which he made up names in his squares hoping he'd win. When Brandel didn't win, he was unable to pay the actual winners and was short on what he owed.

Brandel is due in court in March.


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