It saddens me to report that Xaviar Bubadar has been indicted on 19 felony counts including armed robbery and money laundering. It saddens me because, like me, Bubadar is a huge fan of the Kansas City Chiefs, winners of the most recent Super Bowl. But unlike me, Bubadar is well-known for his superfandom on social media, where he was known on Twitter as “@ChiefsAholic.” Also unlike me (as far as you know), ChiefsAholic was willing to rob banks in order to feed his Chiefs obsession, according to the indictment.
That part doesn’t sadden me, I will admit. In a way it is kind of awesome, actually. But in this case it’s also 19 felonies, so he might have taken this a bit too far.
Bubadar has been well-known for some time in his wolf-masked ChiefsAholic persona, depicted above in what I really had hoped would turn out to be his mugshot. But he does not seem to have been unmasked until last December, when he was arrested in Oklahoma on suspicion of robbing a credit union there. According to the Kansas City Star, after that arrest the FBI found that his cell phone had connected to cell towers near the scenes of no fewer than six other robberies or attempted robberies in four other states. He made bail on the Oklahoma charge, but later violated court orders by cutting off his ankle monitor and fleeing. He was arrested again in California last month.
The federal indictment filed on Wednesday describes Bubadar as “a superfan of the Kansas City Chiefs who would attend most games dressed as a wolf in Chiefs clothing.” (The Chiefs have long had an official mascot, KC Wolf, who also dresses this way. I’ve frankly never understood why the mascot is a wolf, although I understand why he’s not a chief.) According to the indictment, “BABUDAR‘s ability to attend these games and sustain this lifestyle was funded by his perpetration of a string of robberies at various times throughout 2022.”
As an aside, can someone tell me, please, why some lawyers insist on always writing a party’s last name in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS (in this case ALSO USING BOLD TYPE)? I see this in civil as well as criminal pleadings, and I don’t get it. If there is some rule somewhere that requires it, please let me know so I can make fun of it. If there is, I’ve been not following it for many years now and it’s never been a problem. If there isn’t, why would you do this? Okay, thanks.
Anyway, Babudar allegedly violated more important rules repeatedly during 2022, apparently even before it became clear the Chiefs would make the playoffs. The indictment alleges he repeatedly traveled out of state, committed a robbery, returned to Kansas City, and then tried to launder the proceeds at casinos. For example, in July 2022 he allegedly stole over $300k from an Iowa credit union at gunpoint, deposited $23,000 in a Kansas City account the next day, and during the next three months used the rest of the money to buy chips and gamble. In fact, from July through October, the indictment says, “BABUDAR [ugh] cashed in [a total of] $1,179,395 in cash and chip purchases” at three area casinos “and cashed out $1,138,200 in chip redemptions and cash payments at these same casinos.” While
BABUDAR Babudar obviously lost quite a bit of money trying to launder it this way, it was someone else’s money.
But again, Babudar wasn’t doing all this for some trivial reason like wanting to have fancy cars or jewelry. He was a superfan! And he spent accordingly. Babudar allegedly “used the proceeds … to attend numerous home and away football games, and placed various wagers on the outcomes of Chiefs games.” For example, the indictment says Babudar used money from the Oklahoma robbery to bet—way back in June 2022—that the Chiefs would win Super Bowl LVII, and that Patrick Mahomes would be the Super Bowl MVP. As you all know, or should, both of those things came to pass in February 2023. Thus did CHIEFSAHOLIC turn $10,000 of stolen money into $100,000. Coincidentally, CHIEFSAHOLIC had just been released on bond in Oklahoma at the time. Not coincidentally, he cut off his ankle monitor and went on the lam shortly after the Argosy Casino sent him his check.
Along those same lines, Bubadar’s cell phone was, according to the Star, “in the vicinity of” several stadiums where Chiefs games were being played, including the games against Arizona, Indianapolis, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles (Chargers), and Denver. Those were all away games, and because he allegedly had no other income it seems fair to assume that Bubadar used the robbery proceeds to travel to these places and, of course, to buy all the tickets involved. And also maybe to pay for the cell phone they used to track him, but I’m just speculating. Still, that his use of the proceeds was consistent with his claimed Chiefaholism should be worth at least a small downward departure from the federal sentencing guidelines. Like maybe 15 minutes or so?
I of course had hoped that CHIEFSAHOLIC would have carried out at least one of the robberies while wearing his wolf costume, but given his social media fame that would have been very unwise. Cf. “The Have-Lunch-Nearby Getaway Plan Is Still Not Working” (Oct. 11, 2011) (involving a robber who did not wear a wolf costume but did stop and shout, “I’m the Silver Wolf! God bless!” while fleeing the scene). But I did notice that when he was arrested after the Oklahoma robbery, police found that his backpack contained, among other things, “a large amount of U.S. currency, a black CO2 pistol, … [and] paw gloves….” (Emphasis added.) So I like to think he wore those even if he chickened out of wearing the wolf mask.
Finally, bonus points to Babudar’s defense attorney, Matthew Merryman, for the statement he was brave enough to deliver on Wednesday. He said the indictment “did not come as a surprise”—which is good, because he’s the guy’s defense attorney—but that he was surprised by “the government’s characterization” of his client.
“The truth is that since 2018 [BABUDAR], aka ‘ChiefsAholic,’ has entertained, inspired, unified and motivated Kansas Citians, the Chiefs Kingdom and hundreds of millions of football fans around the globe,” Merryman said in an email to the The Star. “It’s now the fourth quarter of the most important game of [BABUDAR’S] life, and his legal team believes his innocence will be proven to the public and confident that once all of the facts are known that he will be redeemed in the eyes of all of his supporters and the Chiefs Kingdom.”
Still trying to decide whether the bonus points will be positive or negative.