Former Olympic rower appears in court for the first time

Harold Backer, the former Victoria investment banker and Olympic rower who went missing for over a year will be back in court next month.

He appeared in court today and will remain in custody until his next court appearance, May 2nd.

The 54-year-old is facing two counts of fraud over $5000 after he turned himself in to police in Victoria last week.

His son Harrison and daughter Emma were in court but declined comment outside. A publication ban was placed on details of Tuesday's hearing.

Victoria criminal lawyer, Paul Pearson with Mulligan Tam Pearson, says there is a very good chance Backer will be granted bail at some point.

“We have a strong presumption of innocence in Canada. Most people wait for their trial outside of jail. We don’t start punishing them before the trial.”

In November 2015, Backer told his wife he was going for a bike ride and never returned home, sparking missing person’s case.

According to court documents Backer has admitted in correspondence he was engaged in a fraudulent "pyramid scheme" in which he had lost all funds invested by clients in My Financial Backer Corporation.

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