‘Dead’ billionaire ‘living with young mistress in Russia’: Report

Mystery swirling around the fate of a German-American millionaire who vanished while skiing has resurfaced in the most unexpected way.

He may be alive and living in Russia with his young mistress, according to a bombshell new report in The Times.

Karl-Erivan Haub was formerly the managing director of the Tengelmann Group, a massive, privately-held supermarket and distribution company based in Germany.

He was last seen in haunting CCTV footage showing him striding through a tunnel in the Klein Matterhorn cable car station in the Swiss Alps.

Decked out in mountaineering gear, the billionaire was alone, wearing in a blue jacket, grey pants, a helmet and skis.

He was training for the ski mountaineering event Patrouille des Glaciers, a difficult trial that he had competed in before.

Then 58-years-old and worth nearly $10 billion, he vanished without a trace.

However, there were suspicious circumstances surrounding his disappearance.

For one, his phone was turned off.

It was also out of character for him to set out alone, his coach Julia Emmler told The Times.

A massive rescue operation was immediately launched, with teams fruitlessly searching crevasses and helicopter crews scouring the mountain for six days.

It was believed he suffered a fatal accident.

Haub has a wife and two children.

His company, which employed 75,000 people, was left in the hands of his two younger brothers.

The first hint something was amiss was in November 2020 when his widow Katrin and brothers engaged in a dispute over whether to declare him legally dead.

Rumours published in German media indicated he may have been secretly involved with a much younger Russia mistress named as Veronika Ermilova.

She had been employed an event management company that planned his mother’s birthday.

She has been reportedly linked to Russian intelligence.

Karl-Erivan, who had German and American citizenship, and believed to have had a Russian passport, was reportedly involved in irregular Russian business deals, The Times reports.

Reports also stated millions in cash were funnelled to Russian banks in the five years from 2010.

Karl-Erivan is also said to paid for private investigators to watch the movements of his business partners and family.

The family declined to comment and he was declared dead in May 2021 by a court.

Karl-Erivan’s younger brother reportedly bought out Katrin’s share of the company for €1 billion, giving him a commanding control of two thirds of the business.

Now, the state prosecutor’s office in Cologne is reportedly investigating whether Christian Haub gave a false statement regarding the death of his brother in May 2021.

The office is not yet considering annulling the death certificate as there is not definitive evidence he is alive.

“For that, it would have to be clear that the missing person survived the issuance of the death certificate, which is not the case at present,” a spokesman for the office told The Times.

Tengelmann has not made a public statement and Christian Haub’s lawyer denied the accusation when asked by German outlet Die Zeit.

“Of course there is nothing to the accusation,” lawyer Mark Binz said.

Liv von Boetticher, an investigative journalist working for RTL which has been probing the story for years, told German outlet Capital: “There are strong indications that [Karl-Erivan] could have caused his disappearance intentionally.”

She claimed to have seen photos in 2022 which appeared to show him in Moscow in February 2021, and says they were obtained by an “Israeli-American company that searched the biometric surveillance system in Moscow for images of Karl-Erivan Haub”.

She also claims those photos were available to Christian Haub when he gave evidence.

Ms Boetticher also claimed the family had discovered “traces leading to Russia” after launching its own probe into his disappearance.

“There was an alleged lover of Karl-Erivan Haub with whom he had intense telephone contact before his disappearance and who has connections with the Russian domestic intelligence service the FSB,” she said.

She added: “There is a record that shows the investigators assumed [Karl-Erivan] Haub was in Russia and also said they could get a photo of him for €100,000.”

RTL alleges Karl-Erivan called a phone number linked to Ermilova 13 times in the three days leading up to his disappearance.

She suspects Karl-Erivan vanished because of his business links with Russia, and said he had done business with “questionable” people.