BRITISH COLUMBIA

Harold Backer, Missing Canadian Olympian, Turns Himself Into Police For Fraud Charges

04/16/2017 01:14 EDT | Updated 04/17/2017 10:08 EDT

Victoria police say an investment dealer and former Canadian Olympic rower who had been missing for nearly a year and a half has turned himself in.

Harold Backer disappeared on Nov. 3, 2015, when he failed to return home after telling his family he was going out for a bike ride.

Soon after, financial crime investigators began looking into Backer and the company My Financial Backer Corp. after his investors received concerning letters.

“He appeared at our police station yesterday. He walked in of his own accord,” Victoria police spokesman Matt Rutherford said Friday.

Rutherford, however, said he had no idea where Backer has been since he disappeared in 2015.

harold backer olympics fraud Harold Backer represented Canada in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympics. (Photo: Vancouver Police/CP)

Backer, 52, was held in custody overnight. He has had a tele-bail hearing and is facing two counts of fraud over $5,000. Rutherford said he could not elaborate on the specifics of the allegations against Backer.

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

After his disappearance, police in Port Angeles, Wash., said an officer who viewed video from a street security camera noted a man fitting Backer’s description was aboard a ferry from Victoria, a 90-minute trip away.

“I know that the last reported sighting of him was the video footage of him just getting off the ferry to Port Angeles. We’re not sure where he went after that,” Rutherford said.

Backer, who competed in rowing in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games, had 20 clients with Investia.

harold backer olympic fraud Canada's Harold Backer and Henry Hering (right) competing in the men's 2x rowing event at the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona. (Photo: F.S. Grant/CP/C.O.C)

Investia said after Backer’s disappearance that it had contacted all the affected clients, that money related to their registered accounts was intact and they were issued regular statements.

Investia said some clients confirmed they had other dealings with Backer on the side.

Backer had been a representative for Investia since June 2005. The company said it had received no complaints from his clients.

Rutherford said Backer’s family has been notified that he has turned himself in.

“Our investigators worked well into the early parts of the morning today and will continue to work throughout the weekend for the Tuesday court appearance,” Rutherford said.