Man faked own abduction to avoid paying Super Bowl pool, police say

Super Bowl 53: TV ratings hit 10-year low, thanks in part to New Orleans tuning out

A New York man running a high-dollar Super Bowl pool reportedly faked his own abduction because he did not have money to pay the winnings, police say.

Sixty-year-old Robert A. Brandel, a resident of the Buffalo suburb of North Tonawanda, was found Monday tied up in his pickup truck in a supermarket parking lot in nearby Newfane. A rope was tied around his neck. 

Brandel told police that two men who had participated in his $50,000 Super Bowl pool abducted him at gunpoint and robbed him of $16,000. They then drove around with him in the truck for two days, before leaving him in the parking lot.

After an investigation, New York State Police came to a different interpretation of the events.

“[T]his elaborate story was fabricated because Brandel was running a $50,000 payout Super Bowl pool in which he made up names on some of the squares hoping to win and take most of the winnings,” the police report states, according to the Buffalo News. Police say that since some names were made up, Brandel did not have money to pay the winners for each of the four quarters, plus the final score.

Police arrested Brandel on Wednesday and charged with first-degree scheme to defraud, which is a felony, and third-degree falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanor.