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Accused in fraud case, Harold Backer, staying in Chemainus

Former Mill Bay resident charged with two counts of fraud.
Harold Backer is staying with his mother in Chemainus. (submitted)

Former Mill Bay resident Harold Backer is now staying with his mother in Chemainus after being released from custody in Victoria on May 2.

The former Victoria mutual fund salesman and Olympic rower who went missing for nearly 18 months is facing two counts of fraud over $5,000 after several of his clients claimed he cost them millions of dollars they had invested with him.

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

He turned up at the Victoria Police Department’s headquarters on April 13 and was immediately taken into custody.

Bail conditions imposed Monday require Backer to surrender all travel documents and to live with his mother, Anne Randi Backer, in Chemainus.

He has yet to answer questions about where he had been since he disappeared, or why he chose to come back now.

Backer’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 5.

Backer was a high-level rower who competed in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 summer Olympics.

The Brentwood College Alumnus (1980) went on to row at Princeton University and returned to Brentwood for a time as a coach.