A former Olympic rower charged with mutual fund fraud has pleaded not guilty and will be going to trial.
Harold Backer competed for Canada at the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Summer Olympics. The Victoria native then became a mutual fund salesman, before clients claimed he lost them millions of dollars in investments.
He is charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000 and remains out on bail, living in Chemainus.
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Backer became part of a missing person case after the charges were filed, when the 54-year-old man disappeared on Nov. 3, 2015 after saying he was going for a bike ride but never returned.
Authorities were able to track him on the Coho ferry to Port Angeles. However it wasn’t until 18 months later that he was seen again — turning himself in at the Victoria Police station on April 13.
A civil claim was filed last year on behalf of six people who say they were Backer’s clients. It names Backer, his former employer Investia Services Financiers Inc., and a private investment firm operated by Backer, My Financial Backer Corp., as defendants.
His next court appearance will be on Oct. 17 to fix a date for the trial.