Missing Olympian under investigation turns himself in to Victoria police

Missing Olympian turns himself in to B.C. police

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 Corporation 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.

Backer, 52, was held in custody overnight. He has had a telebail 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. 

Police said Backer remains in custody and expected to appear in court again on April 18th

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

Investia said after Backer’s disappearance it had contacted all of 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.

Police said the fraud investigation is continuing.

“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.





The Canadian Press

Just Posted

RDN to add fee for cannabis retail applications

Staff expects high volume of applicants after recreational cannabis is legalized

Parksville chamber hands out business awards

Sold-out gala draws 240 to honour 2017 finalists

RDN sees increase in building activity

Three-year rise in development permits exceeds provincial average

Arrowsmith search and rescue members take on crevasse, heli training

New members take part in some weekend training, but Arrowsmith SAR always looking for more

RDN to save $1m for future demolition of District 69 Arena

Money to be put in reserves starting from 2019 to 2023

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

SurvivorPQB supports local charity

Readers vote for their favourites and a chance to win $250 in groceries

Open house set for Parksville supportive housing project

Island Crisis Care Society to host March 20 session at PCCC

Fired City of Nanaimo manager makes human rights complaint

Brad McRae, ex-chief operations officer, looking to be reinstated with municipality

Spring snow melt uncovers dirty needles in B.C. city

Vernon residents are upset with number of needles being found around town with spring melt

RCMP on lookout for man after assault on Qualicum Beach senior

68-year-old pushed to the ground, mouth covered after saying hello to man smoking marijuana

US would host majority of games at 2026 World Cup

A decision on the winning bid will be made June 13 at the FIFA Congress in Mexico

Most people in B.C. too ‘lazy,’ ‘apathetic’ to prepare for disasters: poll

Less than half of those surveyed aren’t insured for earthquakes and wildfires

Chris Hemsworth goes surfing in Tofino

The Australian actor donned a full body wetsuit to catch some waves on Vancouver Island this weekend

Most Read