An investment dealer and former Olympic rower who disappeared for nearly 18 months faces a civil lawsuit from investors alleging he ran a pyramid scheme with their money.

A notice of civil claim filed by six people in Duncan, B.C., last July names Harold Backer, his company and his former employer, Investia Services Financiers.

The B.C. Supreme Court lawsuit claims damages for breach of contract, negligence and fraud arising from an allegedly fraudulent, pyramid or "Ponzi" scheme operated by Backer and his personal company.

Police have said that Backer, 54, told his family in November 2015 that he was going for a bike ride but never came back.

Backer appeared at the Victoria Police Department last Thursday, and has since been charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000.

The three-time Olympian was in court yesterday and was remanded until May 2.

None of the allegations in the civil or criminal cases have been proven in court.

Investia denied any negligence in a statement of defence filed in court.

Backer's lawyer could not be reached for comment.