Former Schumacher family employee arrested on suspicion of involvement in blackmail attempt

Former Schumacher family employee arrested on suspicion of involvement in blackmail attempt
Former Schumacher family employee arrested on suspicion of involvement in blackmail attempt

A former security guard for Michael Schumacher’s family is suspected of playing a key role in an attempted blackmail of the ex-F1 driver’s relatives, the Wuppertal prosecutor’s office in the west of Germany said on Friday. The 52-year-old was arrested on Thursday in connection with the investigation into the case, which came to light in late June, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office.

“The suspect was allegedly employed in the past as a security guard for the Schumacher family and was responsible, among other things, for digitizing private images,” the same source said.

He is said to have acted as an intermediary between the family of the German legend and two alleged blackmailers in pre-trial detention for having demanded millions of euros, under penalty of disseminating private information and photos of the driver on the “dark web”, the clandestine part of the internet. Coveted data because since a skiing accident in 2013 and a serious head trauma, Michael Schumacher has been treated at his home in Switzerland and kept away from the media.

The intermediary allegedly exchanged the data for money, which was later confirmed by the eldest of the blackmailing duo, a 53-year-old man and his 30-year-old son from Wuppertal, according to the public prosecutor’s office. The two men were arrested by the police in a supermarket car park near Frankfurt and had sent documents to the family to prove their claims. The new revelations come from the duo’s computer media, which were examined by the investigation, which was conducted in Switzerland and Germany.

The police are now preparing to examine “a large number of data carriers” (hard drives, USB sticks, mobile phones) seized at the intermediary’s home during a search, the prosecutor’s office said.

The suspects are suspected of “attempted extortion committed in a group”, punishable “in general by a fine or a prison sentence of up to 5 years”, according to the press release.

Little information has filtered through about the health of the seven-time F1 world champion, who spent nearly six months in an artificial coma after his accident. In May, the German magazine “Die Aktuelle” was convicted for publishing a fake interview with the athlete in 2023, generated by AI.

Schumacher Germany

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