German Billionaire who disappeared during a hike in 2018 ‘living with mistress in Russia’


A German billionaire believed to have died in a skiing accident may be alive and living with a mistress in Moscow, new evidence has suggested.

Karl-Erivan Haub, 58 at the time, was training for a ski mountaineering race at the Matterhorn mountain in Switzerland when he went missing in April 2018.

He was last seen heading up a ski lift alone one morning and never returned to his hotel.

Authorities including teams of alpine rescuers and five helicopters searched for six days, but his body was never found.

After the six-day search, the businessman was declared dead by a German court in 2021, according to the Seattle Times.

He was declared legally dead by a German court, leaving behind his wife, two children, and his company, retail giant Tengelmann Group which had more than 75,000 employees.

German Billionaire, Karl-Erivan Haub, who disappeared during a hike in 2018

His younger brother Christian swore in court that there was no indication Karl-Erivan, whose net worth was estimated at £5.2billion, remained alive.

But now a major investigation led by German broadcaster RTL claims to have found Karl-Erivan in Moscow, and believes he’s living there with a mistress named Veronika Ermilova.

One of the journalists, investigative reporter Liv von Boetticher, told Capital magazine that she was aware of photos allegedly showing Haub in Moscow in 2021, the same year he was legally declared dead.

“As far as I know, these photos were obtained on behalf of Christian Haub and two internal investigators working for him by an Israeli-American company that searched the biometric surveillance system in Moscow for images of Karl-Erivan Haub,” she explained.

The coincidence in appearance between Haub and the person in the images was about 90%, according to a Stern magazine report from March 2023.

Based on her information, Boetticher explained, Christian Haub had access to the photos when “he stated under oath to the Cologne District Court in May 2021 that he had ‘no reliable evidence’ that his brother was still alive.”

Boetticher insisted that there is “strong evidence that [Karl-Erivan Haub] could have caused his disappearance intentionally and that at least parts of his family were aware of it and, against their better judgment, kept this secret from the Cologne District Court and the public.”

Haub, who was born to German parents in Tacoma, Washington, and educated in Switzerland, was married and had two adult children at the time of his disappearance.

The latest evidence, however, suggested that he may have a younger woman on the go in Russia, Boetticher told Capital.

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

Rumors about Haub and his alleged mistress, Veronika Ermilova, have circulated since around 2020, when his wife, Katrin, publicly sparred with her brothers-in-law over whether to have him declared legally dead, the Times reported.

Haub supposedly called Erminolca’s number 13 times three days before his disappearance, the Times added, citing RTL.

The billionaire was also rumored to have had a Russian passport in addition to his US and German citizenships, the outlet said.

There was also speculation that millions of euros in Tengelmann funds had been funneled to Russia between 2010 and 2015.

Haub vanished just one month after the death of his father, Erivan Haub. At the time of his death, the elder Haub was worth an estimated $6.4 billion, according to Forbes.

Boetticher indicated that the reason for Karl-Erivan Haub vanishing could be linked to the family’s business dealings.

“Our suspicion is that dealings with Russia or with Russian business partners may have put Karl-Erivan in trouble in the Western world,” the journalist suggested to Capital.

Christian Haub took over the Tengelmann Group as sole CEO shortly after his older brother disappeared.

His lawyer, Mark Binz, vehemently denied the journalists’ allegations in a comment to Zeit Online.

“Of course, there is no truth to the accusation,” Bonz scoffed. “Until a few weeks ago, the Cologne public prosecutor’s office saw it that way and therefore refused to start an investigation.”


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