Maria Sharapova and Michael Schumacher booked for alleged fraud by Indian police

Complainant claims the sports stars were promoters of a housing project that never took off

Maroosha Muzaffar
Friday 18 March 2022 05:28
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Sharapova on tennis equality

An Indian woman has accused former tennis star Maria Sharapova and former Formula 1 racer Michael Schumacher of criminal conspiracy.

The two sports stars, along with 11 others, have been charged with fraud and criminal conspiracy by local police after an order given by an Indian court.

Delhi resident Shafali Agarwal claimed she had booked an apartment in an upcoming housing project in the Indian city of Gurugram, formerly called Gurgaon, named after Sharapova.

The project also had a separate housing tower named after Schumacher and the project was supposed to be completed by 2016, stated several reports.

Ms Agarwal accused the two stars of fraud and criminal conspiracy as the project never took off, she told a local court.

She had filed a complaint against the project’s realtors M/S Realtech Development and Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, other real-estate developers and Sharapova and Schumacher for defrauding her of around Rs 8m (£80,000).

Gurugram police then registered a case of criminal conspiracy, fraud, criminal breach of trust and cheating, adding that an investigation is ongoing.

According to Ms Agarwal’s complaint, she had come to know about the project through advertisements.

She said she had “reached out to the company management after [seeing] pictures of the project and a lot of false promises were made”.

She also alleged Sharapova and Schumacher were the promoters of the housing project and that they had conspired with the developers. Ms Agarwal claimed Sharapova had visited the project site and promised to open a tennis academy and sports store there.

“It was mentioned in the brochure that she is promoting the project, and she also made false promises, had dinner parties with the buyers, and all this was done for the project, which never took off,” Ms Agarwal claimed in her complaint, copies of which were obtained by local media outlets.

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