It looks like fraud is really making a big impact on everyone these days, with more people getting involved in fraud with or without their own doing. It seems like no matter how many tips to avoid fraud you know about, fraudsters will find a way to make you a fraud victim.
The above is true in the case of former Olympian Harold Backer who was charged with fraud over $5,000 after pleading guilty to the charges against him. No word was shared why he went mysteriously missing for 18 months though it led to an international police search.
Backer’s lawyer, Joven Narwal spoke for him in the court because the former Olympian opted not to speak a word. His lawyer said that Backer, 55, is extremely sorry about his conduct and has nothing to say.
Olympian Turned Fraudster?
Backer graduated from Princeton University and has been in the Olympics thrice. He was charged with 2 counts of fraud over $5,000. He initially pleaded not guilty to the charges but changed his plea to guilty for a single charge of fraud over $5,000. He was also given 3 years of probation by Judge Carmen Rogers and he agreed to pay a restitution amounting to $161,900 to 5 individuals. He was observed to be quite emotional during his sentencing, hugging his children and his brother prior to being led to court.
Backer went missing after telling his family that he will be going for a bike ride on the 3rd of November 2015. He turned himself in in April 2017 to Victoria police and had not touched the topic of where he has been for the year and a half that he’s been missing.
During the sentencing, no word of Mr. Backer’s was mentioned and the Counsel specifically said that they are only concerned about what happened between May 2013 and November 2015 as this was the time frame wherein Backer committed his offences. Defence lawyer Joven Narwal said that his client’s disappearance has nothing to do with his offences. Victoria police stated that they are offering no comment regarding the disappearance either.
Soon after Backer’s disappearance, an officer said he spotted a man fitting Backer’s description getting into a ferry, taking a 90-minute trip. At around the same time, financial crime investigators began looking into Harold Backer and his company My Financial Backer Corp. after his investors received concerning letters.
His lawyer said that Backer never intended to defraud his investors and that he cared deeply for them. It was a matter of investments not performing as he hoped they would and he felt that he let down a lot of people.
With doctors and even military officials getting involved in fraud, it is not a huge surprise that a former Olympian was too, no matter what the intentions are. What matters is to arm yourself with knowledge regarding fraud in Canada so you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself against fraud. Another is to be proactive in dealing with fraud by hiring a private investigator to help you get to the truth. Contact us if you need to consult professionals about handling fraud.