Banks, 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.