Charles Banks Guilty Plea May Cost Him NZ Trinity Hill Winery

New Zealand officials reconsidering Banks' status as a person of "good character."
Trinity Hill vineyards

U.S. winery investor Charles Banks IV could be removed as an owner of New Zealand’s Trinity Hill winery if the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) finds him to be not of “good character.”

Charles Banks, IVBanks, 49, the former financial adviser to NBA player Tim Duncan, pleaded guilty to a federal charge of wire fraud in a Texas court on Monday. He faces up to 20 years in prison after admitting to stealing millions of dollars from the retired San Antonio Spurs player. U.S. District Judge Fred Biery set a June 27 sentencing date.

Banks is the majority shareholder of Terroir Capital LLC, which manages the Terroir Winery Fund. The Terroir Winery Fund was granted consent to acquire Hawke’s Bay winery Trinity Hill in 2014 and Banks has been co-owner of Trinity Hill since December 2014.

A condition of the consent required ‘individuals with control’ of the Terroir Winery Fund (including Banks) to remain of good character, the OIO said in a statement. In light of Banks’ guilty plea, the OIO said it is reconsidering the consent.

“The OIO has met with Terroir Winery Fund’s representatives to make it clear that in our view Mr. Banks is unlikely to meet his on-going obligation to remain of good character. If Mr. Banks is not of good character, then we will seek to have him to be removed as an individual with control of sensitive land in New Zealand,” it said.

When assessing good character among other elements, the OIO looks at “offenses or contraventions of the law.” Terroir Winery Fund reported this matter to the OIO and is cooperating with our inquiries, the agency said.

Published on April 7, 2017
Topics: Crime News
About the Author
Leslie Gevirtz
Contributing Editor, Business

An award-winning journalist, Gevirtz spent more than 20 years covering disasters—natural, political, and financial—before becoming Reuters’ wine correspondent; a beat that guaranteed her colleagues were always glad to see her.




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