Kansas City Superfan ‘ChiefsAholic’ charged with stealing almost $700,000 in bank heists
The Associated Press - August 19, 2023 7:53 am
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City Chiefs superfan known as “ChiefsAholic” and familiar for attending games dressed as a wolf in the NFL team’s gear has been indicted by a federal grand jury that accuses him of armed robbery and money laundering in a string of bank heists across four states that netted him almost $700,000.
Xaviar Babudar robbed six banks — and tried unsuccessfully three other times — and laundered the proceeds at casinos and sportsbooks, according to the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri. The 19-count indictment handed down on Wednesday replaces and supplements a criminal complaint filed against Babudar in May.
Babudar, 29, is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday, said his attorney, Matthew T. Merryman.
“It’s now the fourth quarter of the most important game of Xaviar’s life,” Merryman said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. “And his legal team believes his innocence will ultimately be proven to the public and we are confident that once all of the facts are known that he will be redeemed in the eyes of his supporters, admirers and the Chiefs Kingdom.”
According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Babudar robbed banks and credit unions in Iowa, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Oklahoma and used money to finance his Chiefs fandom. The charges include three counts of armed bank robbery, one count of bank theft, 11 counts of money laundering, and four counts of transporting stolen property across state lines.
Babudar was active on social media as “ChiefsAholic” and was well known for attending home and road games dressed in his wolf costume. The indictment says he used some of the robbery loot to bet on the team to win the Super Bowl and for quarterback Patrick Mahomes to win the game’s MVP Award — bets that turned $10,000 into $100,000.
After receiving a check for his winnings, Babudar, who had been charged with robbing a Tulsa credit union and was out on bond, cut his ankle monitor and fled the state, the U.S. attorney said in a news release. He was arrested in California last month and remains in federal custody without bond, the release said.
“The government’s announcement today of its 19-count indictment provides an unfair and unjust portrayal of Xaviar,” Merryman said. “The truth is that since 2018 Xaviar Babudar, aka ‘ChiefsAholic’ has entertained, inspired, unified and motivated Kansas Citians, the Chiefs Kingdom and hundreds of millions of football fans around the globe.”