Harold Backer, a former Olympic rower and investment dealer who went missing for nearly 18 months, has pleaded not guilty to two fraud charges.
Backer was not in B.C. Supreme Court during a hearing on Wednesday in Victoria, but his lawyer entered the not guilty plea on his client’s behalf.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 17 to fix a trial date. The trial is expected to last 12-to-13 days next spring.
Backer was charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000 after he turned up at Victoria Police Department Headquarters in April.
He had disappeared after he told his family he was going for a bike ride on Nov. 3, 2015. Crown prosecutor John Neal says they still don’t know where he went during those months.
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.
Backer was on the Canadian rowing team in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games.
With files from The Canadian Press