NEWFANE, N.Y. — A North Tonawanda man is facing fraud charges for allegedly scamming people in a Super Bowl pool and faking his own kidnapping.
Robert A. Brandel, 60 is charged with scheme to defraud and falsely reporting an incident.
Troopers say they were called to the Tops parking lot at 3949 Lockport-Olcott Road February 27 for a report of a man found tied up in a vehicle.
They say they found Brandel in a blue Ford F-150 with a rope tied around his neck attached to the headrest and his hands and duct tape around his ankles.
Brandel’s vehicle was processed for possible evidence.
Troopers say Brandel told them that on February 25, he picked up two men that were involved in his Super Bowl squares. He claimed they entered his vehicle with a pistol and took $16,000 cash he had from the Super Bowl squares. He then claimed the man made him drive around the area against his will and tied him up in the back seat and left him in the parking lot.
Troopers say their investigation discovered Brandel's story was fake and that he had been running a $50,000 payout for the Super Bowl pool.
They say he made up names on the squares in hopes of winning and take home most of the winnings, and wasn't able to make most of the payouts.
Brandel was issued appearance tickets for the town of Newfane Court and will return to court in March.