60-year-old Robert Brandel of western New York thought he had the edge in a Superbowl betting pool when he filled in several fake names on the $50,000 'squares' pool. According to investigators, Brandel did not win on any of his squares, resulting in his gambling debt being multiplied tenfold, and him not being able to muster up the cash.
Rather than facing the consequences, the gambler staged a fake kidnapping and robbery. The failed hoax abduction led to state troopers finding Brandel tied up in his pick up truck on Monday, 30 miles north of Buffalo. He claimed that he was abducted and robbed for $16,000 in cash, which we can only assume is most likely very close the amount owed.
Last month, Empire actor Jussie Smollet recently found himself in a similar situation staging an attack on himself, resulting in his arrest for reporting a false police report. He was arrested in Illinois for disorderly conduct, where he can be facing up to 3 years in prison. The two brothers from Africa who once appeared on the hit TV series, Empire, recently apologized for their part in the incident.
Robert Brandel is from North Tonawanda and is being charged with felony fraud and making a false report to the police, which is punishable up to 7 years in a New York state prison. Brandel is due in a New York court in March.
By Marc Charles of Money Talk Radio WHFS