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Gurugram Police booked former Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova and former F1 world champion Michael Schumacher and 11 others for fraud and criminal conspiracy following a court order. The FIR was registered on the complaint of a Delhi woman, who accused them of fraud. 

Shafali Agarwal, a resident of Chattarpur Mini Farm in New Delhi, complained that she had booked an apartment in a project named after Sharapova. A tower in the project was named after Schumacher, she said. The project was to be completed by 2016 but never took off, the complainant added. 

She accused the international celebrities of being part of the fraud through their association and promotion of it. Earlier, she had filed a complaint in a Gurugram court against M/S Realtech Development and Infrastructure (INDIA) Pvt. Ltd, other developers, Sharapova and Schumacher for duping her of around Rs 80 lakh. 

The complainant stated before the court that she and her husband booked a residential apartment in the project named after Sharapova in Sector 73, Gurugram, but the developer companies cheated them by alluring them to put money into their project, which was never meant to be delivered. 

“We came to know about the project through advertisements and reached out to the company management after pictures of the project and a lot of false promises were made,” she said in the complaint. 

Sharapova and Schumacher as promoters of the project conspired with the buyers, Agarwal alleged, adding that the former tennis star had visited the site and promised the opening of a tennis academy and sports store. 

“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,” read the complaint. 

The FIR has been registered under Sections 34 (common intention), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the IPC at the Badshahpur police station. “As per the court order, the FIR has been registered and we are reviewing the matter. The probe is on,” said Inspector Dinkar, SHO of the police station. 

Former F1 world champion Schumacher should have celebrated his 53rd birthday on January 3, 2022, but instead is holed up at home after a devastating skiing accident. In December 2013, while on a skiing trip with his family, Schumacher suffered a severe brain injury when descending the Combe de Saulire near Méribel in the French Alps with his son and Haas F1 driver Mick. 

Despite wearing a skiing helmet, he suffered catastrophic injuries. Schumacher was rushed to hospital and kept in a coma following the dramatic accident while doctors worked to save the racing champion. 

(with PTI inputs)