A man from western New York has been arrested for allegedly staging his own abduction in an effort to get out of paying $50,000 he owed after running a Super Bowl betting pool.
What are the details?
New York State Police found 60-year-old Robert Brandel bound in the back seat of his own Ford F-150 truck on Wednesday, parked outside a grocery store in the town of Newfane. NYup.com reported that Brandel had a rope tied around his neck, the other end of which was tied to a head rest in the vehicle. His wrists and ankles were bound with duct tape.
According to the Associated Press, Brandel told troopers he picked up two men on Monday who had placed bets in a Super Bowl pool. He said the men brandished a gun and robbed him of $16,000 in cash he had won out of the pool. Brandel went on to claim the men held him against his will for two days, travelling to various places in western New York before leaving him tied up in his truck.
The Big Lead reported that officers quickly determined the story was all made up, and allege Brandel had actually run the pool himself and lost big. Authorities say Brandel entered several bets using fake names in hopes of walking away with winnings, but instead ended up owing $50,000 in payouts.
Brandel didn't have the money and panicked, the cops believe, and orchestrated the fake abduction to get out of paying what he owed.
Brandel was arrested and charged with a felony of first-degree scheme to defraud, and a misdemeanor of falsely reporting an incident. He is due back in court later this month.