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Ex-Screaming Eagle owner Charles Banks faces fraud charges

The US department of justice has indicted Charles Banks on wire fraud charges and the former Screaming Eagle co-owner is also being pursued by the US Securities & Exchange Commission. He has denied wrongdoing.

Charles Banks has been indicted on two counts of wire fraud relating to allegations made by retired NBA basketball player Tim Duncan.

Press images showed Banks being led into a San Antonio courtroom wearing handcuffs late last week.

Banks strongly denied wrongdoing, in a statement given by his lawyers to journalists outside the court. He was released on bail.

Banks rose to prominence in the wine world when he bought Screaming Eagle together with real estate developer Stan Kroenke in 2006. There is no suggestion of Kroenke’s involvement in the present investigations.

Banks founded Terroir Capital after leaving Screaming Eagle in 2009.

He and fellow Terroir investors have pursued several acquisitions. In wine, these include Mayacamas in Napa Valley and Qupé in Santa Barbara.

Banks also acted as Tim Duncan’s financial advisor.

The ex-San Antonio Spurs star has claimed that Banks persuaded him to invest in a company named Gameday, but that the promised returns have not materialised.

Separate to Banks’ indictment, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a lawsuit against Banks in relation to fraud claims.

The separate SEC filing does not name Duncan, but the details of the case are almost identical.

The SEC has requested a jury trial in Georgia, where it filed its lawsuit against Banks on 9 September.

Charles Augustus Banks IV left out ‘material facts’ to persuade an investor to put $7.5 million into Gameday Entertainment, the SEC said. Banks has denied mis-leading Duncan.

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