The Overseas Investment Office says it is in discussions with representatives of the Terroir Winery Fund after the sentencing of United States wine fund manager Charles Banks to four years' imprisonment for fraud in the United States.
Mr Banks is the majority shareholder of Terroir Capital LLC, which manages the Terroir Winery Fund. The Fund was granted consent to acquire Hawke's Bay winery Trinity Hill in 2014.
"A condition of consent required the ‘individuals with control’ of the Terroir Winery Fund (including Mr Banks) to remain of good character. In light of Mr Banks’ conviction and sentence, we consider that Mr Banks is not of good character," the OIO says.
"We are in discussion with Terroir’s representatives about removing Mr Banks from having any interest in Terroir’s investment in New Zealand. Mr Banks has already resigned as director of Trinity Hill Ltd."
The OIO says Terroir Winery Fund reported this matter to it and is cooperating with its inquiries.