Harold Backer’s children Harrison and Emma leave the B.C. Provincial Court building following their father’s first court appearance to face two counts of fraud in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Man who went missing appears on fraud charges

Man missing for nearly 18 months

VICTORIA — An investment dealer and former Olympic rower who went missing for nearly 18 months made a brief appearance in a Victoria court Tuesday and had his case adjourned to May 2.

Harold Backer, who stared straight ahead during his time in court, was remanded until his next appearance.

Victoria police say Backer is facing two counts of fraud over $5,000 after he turned up at the department’s headquarters last Thursday.

The 54-year-old man disappeared on Nov. 3, 2015, after telling his family he was going for a bike ride, but failed to return home.

His son Harrison and daughter Emma were in court but declined comment outside.

A publication ban was placed on details of Tuesday’s hearing.

Police in Port Angeles, Wash., have said a man fitting Backer’s description was spotted on security footage on a ferry shortly after his disappearance.

Financial crime investigators began looking into Backer and the company My Financial Backer Corporation after investors received concerning letters.

Mutual Funds company Investia Financial Services Inc. terminated Backer’s licence after his disappearance, stating he had failed to follow its policies and procedures that required him to disclose all outside business activities.

Backer, who was on the Canadian rowing team in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games, had 20 clients with Investia.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Harold Backer is 52 years old.

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