Nearly a year and a half after he vanished mysteriously, a former Olympic rowing star from Vancouver Island has resurfaced… and been arrested by police.
In November of 2015, 52-year-old Harold Backer told his family he was going for a bike ride, then was spotted boarding the Coho Ferry to Port Angeles, Washington before disappearing.
But not long after friends and family launched a search, details began to emerge about financial troubles surrounding Backers’ business dealings.
Police say Financial crime investigators began an investigation into his company, My Financial Backer, after letters turned up Backer had written to his clients prior to disappearing.
According to Times Colonist reports at the time, Backer had written to apologize for running “pyramid scheme” and losing clients money.
Now, Constable Matt Rutherford with the Victoria Police says Backer has returned to Victoria, turning himself into investigators at the city’s Police Headquarters Thursday.
“He turned himself in on his own accord yesterday. We’re happy he’s safe and the investigation is ongoing into the fraud allegations.”
Police say he’s facing a pair of Fraud over $5,000 charges, and remains in custody until his next court appearance Tuesday.
“Fraud investigations are very complex. This one, due to the multiple investors, as well as the year-and-a-half being missing, it’s a very complex investigation. So our investigators are working and they worked yesterday as well as today and probably throughout the weekend to try and determine where he’s been and look into his activities,” says Rutherford.
Backer is a three-time Olympic rower, competing in 1984, 1988 and 1992.