Father-Son Arrested in Michael Schumacher Blackmail Plot

German prosecutors said on Monday that they had arrested two individuals earlier this month on charges of attempting to extort Michael Schumacher’s family. Schumacher is a legendary Formula One racer.

Prosecutors in the western German city of Wuppertal stated that the suspects informed family employees that they had sensitive documents that the family did not want to be made public.

The criminal duo asked for several million euros, or the data would be made public on the dark web.

The prosecution said the defendants mailed the family a few documents to prove their threat. The prosecutors provided no other information on the files’ contents.

The Wuppertal father and son, aged 53 and 30, who are both on probation in another case, were apprehended by detectives.

Their arrest was on June 19 in the central town of Gross-Gerau, when they were apprehended in a supermarket parking lot. 

In accordance with German privacy regulations, their identities were withheld.

Prosecutor Wolf-Tilman Baumert warned that if found guilty, the defendants might spend up to five years in prison or pay a fine.

In December 2013, Schumacher was skiing in Meribel in the French Alps when he nearly died from a head injury. His helmet was shattered as he stumbled and slammed into a boulder. The seven-time Formula One champion has been receiving private care at a Swiss family home after being discharged from a hospital in September 2014.

After 55 years in Formula One and 91 victories, including five consecutive titles with Ferrari from 2000 to 2004, Schumacher decided to retire in 2012. The German driver’s other two championships came in 1994 and 1995 while riding for Benetton.

A magazine publisher was found legally liable by Schumacher’s family last month for publishing an AI-generated interview with the Formula One legend.

“Michael Schumacher, the first interview!” was the headline of the April 2023 issue of the German magazine Die Aktuelle.