Evans & Tate may be investigated by the Australian authorities, according to local press reports. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission is querying the wine group's annual report for 2004-2005, as it did not state for what specific services the wife of former executive chairman Franklin Tate, Heather, had been paid A$86,402 (US$65,968), The West Australian reported today (4 October).

Initially, the company said that Heather Tate had worked in "finance and administration," but now claims that she aided in relocating its headquarters and establishing the Redbrook Visitor Centre in the Margaret River Wine region.

Heather Tate has since left the company, present chairman John Hopkins said.