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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Kansas City Chiefs Superfan Pleads Guilty to Bank Robberies, Money Laundering

Xaviar Michael Babudar, a devoted Kansas City Chiefs fan known as the Chiefsaholic, entered a guilty plea in federal court on Wednesday for his involvement in a series of bank robberies spanning seven states between 2022 and 2023. Prosecutors revealed that Babudar, 29, used some of the stolen money to fuel his gambling habit on his favorite football team.

The guilty plea, made before Judge Howard F. Sachs of U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., included charges of money laundering, transporting stolen property across state lines, and bank robbery in a federal case in Oklahoma, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of Missouri.

Babudar gained notoriety among Kansas City Chiefs fans for his enthusiastic support of the team, often attending games dressed in wolf-themed attire and boasting a significant presence on social media platforms under the moniker Chiefsaholic.

Despite his outwardly lavish lifestyle and frequent gambling bets on the Chiefs, Babudar’s criminal activities began in 2022 when he embarked on a spree of bank robberies across multiple states, stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars. His arrest came in December 2022 after a bank robbery in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Following his release on bond in February 2023, Babudar fled Oklahoma by cutting off his ankle monitor and evading law enforcement for several months. However, his luck ran out when he was apprehended in Sacramento on July 7, 2023, after months of successfully evading capture.

Prosecutors revealed that Babudar financed his time as a fugitive with the proceeds from his gambling activities, particularly wagers placed on the Kansas City Chiefs. Notably, he won significant sums from bets made at the Argosy Casino in Alton, Ill., including a $100,000 payout after correctly predicting the Chiefs’ victory in Super Bowl LVII.

In addition to his guilty plea, Babudar admitted to a string of bank robberies across the Midwest, with thefts ranging from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands. Prosecutors detailed his modus operandi, including a $70,000 heist from a bank in Clive, Iowa, where he donned a ski mask and threatened the teller with a firearm.

The guilty plea agreement requires Babudar to pay over $532,000 in restitution to the banks he robbed and forfeit an autographed painting of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. He faces a potential sentence of up to 50 years in prison without parole, with sentencing scheduled for July 10.

Teresa Moore, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, condemned Babudar’s actions, describing his crime spree as “violent” and noting the trauma inflicted on bank employees. She emphasized that Babudar’s attempt to conceal stolen cash through gambling ultimately led to his downfall.

In response, Babudar’s attorney, Matthew T. Merryman, acknowledged his client’s accountability and described the legal proceedings as challenging. He stressed that Babudar had taken responsibility for his actions despite facing significant pressure from the government.

The guilty plea serves as a conclusion to a saga that saw a beloved sports fan transform into a wanted criminal, leaving a trail of bank robberies and deception in his wake. As Babudar awaits sentencing, his case serves as a cautionary tale about the consequences of greed and criminal behavior, even for those deeply entrenched in the world of professional sports fandom.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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