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New York man tries the old fake kidnapping trick to avoid Super Bowl gambling loss

March 01, 2019

Kids, don't gamble. But if you do, don't enter Super Bowl pools with people you don't know. One New York man ran a high-stakes one this year and he was recently found by police tied up in the back of his truck.

But don't feel bad for him, because it was all his own doing. That's right, some bozo named Robert Brandel tried the old fake kidnapping trick to avoid his gambling debts. Debts that had been racked up from a Super Bowl pool he ran. And a fraudulent one at that, according to Syracuse.com.

He was in the backseat with a rope tied around his neck, the other end tied to the head rest. Duct tape was wrapped around his hands and ankles. He then spun a bizarre tale for troopers, who began an abduction and robbery investigation.

Brandel told police that he picked up two men in his truck on Feb. 25 who had placed bets on a Super Bowl pool. The men brandished a pistol and stole $16,000 in cash he had won from the payout of the pool, Brandel told troopers.

Brandel claimed the pair made him drive around various places in Western New York against his will, eventually leaving him tied up in a Tops parking lot, according to New York State Police.

So essentially, Brandel owed a lot of money, but made up a story in which two other people actually owed the money, but they stole it from him, kidnapped him and dumped him in a Newfane parking lot after taking him for a joyride around Western New York. If you've ever been to Western New York, you'd instantly be suspicious of that story because there is absolutely nothing to do in those parts.

But somehow it gets even worse. Apparently, Brandel's Super Bowl pool was selling boxes for $500 a pop, but Brandel had just made up names in a lot of the squares in the hope one of those hit so he could keep the money he collected. Basically, he was running a Super Bowl box ponzi scheme. Brilliant.

Anyway, Brandel, 60, is still on the hook for his gambling losses and now he has legal fees to deal with. He's facing a felony charge for trying to scheme and defraud on top of a misdemeanor for reporting a false incident.


And now that his mugshot is out there, he's going to have a really tough time ever running another pool to recoup his losses.