Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The distinctions of Pancho Campo MW

 'Pancho Campo, the first and only Spaniard to hold the title of Master of Wine'

Pancho Campo MW continues to claim the distinction of being, ‘the first and only Spaniard to hold the title of Master of Wine’. Quite why Campo continues to make this false claim is beyond me.

Technically Campo is the first Chilean born MW as he was born in Santiago in 1961. Moving to Spain when he was 13 he also has a Spanish passport. Pedro Ballesteros Torres, who qualified in 2008, is currently the only Spanish born MW and is based in Brussels.   

In addition to his ability as an organiser of shows whether they feature tennis and rock stars or wine personalities, there are a number of distinctions that Campo MW could claim legitimately but doesn’t. Among these are:

The first MW to have a conviction (June 2003) in Dubai over a fraudulent business transaction;

The first MW to have been tried in absentia in Dubai and to still have a one year prison sentence followed by deportation hanging over him;

The first MW to have handed over his Chilean passport as a surety in June 2002 to a Dubai court.

The Chilean passport is doubtless still there as it is very likely that Campo paid to be smuggled out of Dubai – probably on a boat. Almost certainly another first for an MW.

As Charlie Hamilton reported on 19th September 2009 in the National, a Dubai newspaper:

"According to court documents, Campo was charged with breach of trust on June 5, 2002, found guilty on June 1, 2003, and sentenced to one year in jail followed by deportation. The case revolved around a 600,000 (Dh3.2m) claim that Ms Wartanian had brought against Campo over fraudulent business dealings. Ms Wartanian's lawyer, Amna Jallaf, said a civil case had also been filed against Campo.

"Ms Wartanian gave him around US$1m (Dh3.67m) on the understanding he would manage and run the business," Ms Jallaf said. "He took all the money and disappeared."

Doubtless had Campo been present in the court in June 2003 Ms Jallaf’s claims might well have been disputed and the picture look less black. Campo, however, had chosen to flee and abscond to Spain.

Campo claims that he had no idea that he was facing a trial and that his Dubai lawyer, with whom he has now apparently lost contact, advised him that Campo was free to leave Dubai. All of which rather conveniently forgets his Chilean passport surrendered as a surety. Furthermore as Campo's business in Dubai was sports and music promotion it is very likely that he would naturally have had regular contact with lawyers.  

Later Campo appeared on Interpol’s wanted list as reported on 4th September 2009.  His name was removed from the Interpol list in July 2010 following the intervention of two American lawyers. The conviction and sentence, however, stands to this day.

Further browsing:
Vitisphere: here
Mike Steinberger: Wine Diarist – The China Mirage


Anonymous said...

Difficult to understand how respectable wine critics and producers associate themselves with this man, appearing at his shows, endangering their reputation. Is it the pursuit of more glory, of more money, is it sheer blindness?

Jim Budd said...

Anon. A fair question. I find this equally inexplicable.

Steven homer said...

Jim Budd. I'd like to ask you why you are particularly obsessed with bringing Pancho Campo down? All your writings are filled with a visceral dislike of Mr Campo. Your history shows your brush with the police 20 years ago. Has anyone ever mentioned that aspect of your life? I recommend people start looking.

Jim Budd said...

Steven homer. They can dig all they like as I have never had a 'brush' with the police.

Soon after I launched my investdrinks website in 2000, there was a smear site set up which made a number of foul accusations about me. All entirely untrue.

I contacted the police and informed all members of the Circle of Wine Writers, who had been sent details of this site, of the facts.

The smear site was based in Southern Africa and I succeeded in having it taken down.

If you have any evidence to the contrary, then post it here. Otherwise I suggest you do proper research before posting potentially libellous comments.