Man fakes kidnapping to avoid paying Super Bowl debts, police say

A New York man’s alleged plan to avoid paying thousands of dollars in Super Bowl bets fell apart this week when he was arrested on suspicion of faking his own abduction.

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Police found 60-year-old Robert Brandel Wednesday afternoon inside his Ford F-150 truck, which was parked off a road in Newfane, New York. Police found Brandel in the back seat of the truck with his hands and ankles duct-taped and a rope tying his neck to a headrest, according to New York State Police.

Brandel allegedly told police that on Monday, he picked up two men who bought Super Bowl squares from him. He said the men kidnapped him at gunpoint and robbed him of $16,000 in cash. The men then drove Brandel around western New York for two days before tying him up and leaving him in his car, according to Brandel's account.

But police were skeptical of Brandel's story, New York State Police Trooper James O'Callaghan told WKBW-TV.

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

Police said they discovered Brandel had actually run a $50,000 payout Super Bowl pool in which he made up names in some of the squares, hoping to win and take most of the winnings, reported. Brandel's plan didn't pan out and he ended up being on the hook for most of the $50,000, police said.

Brandel was arrested and faces several charges, including first-degree scheme to defraud, a felony, and falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanor.

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