Maria Sharapova is being investigated by police in India for her role in a “cheating and criminal conspiracy case,” in which a real estate company called Homestead Infrastructure, together with Sharapova, sold millions of rupees worth of units to home buyers and then disappeared, according to the Associated Press.
The housing complex, called “Ballet by Maria Sharapova,” advertised its own helipad and tennis academy. On. Nov. 11 2012, Sharapova visited India for one day to promote the property, and a YouTube video from 2013 shows a digital rendering.
From the AP:
Piyush Singh, a lawyer representing one of the home buyers, said Wednesday that Sharapova’s celebrity was the reason most people put their money into the project.
Singh said his client, Bhawana Agarwal, paid Homestead Infrastructure 5.3 million rupees ($81,678) in 2013 because she was impressed by Sharapova’s association with the project located in Gurgaon, a suburb of the Indian capital. The cost of an apartment in the swanky project was 20 million rupees ($308,000).
Agarwal then spent the next three years chasing the builders for updates on the property and her investment in it but they stopped taking her calls, Singh said. On Wednesday, several calls to the numbers of the building company’s website went unanswered.
Police began the investigation into the alleged fraud on Nov. 16.