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

Monday, 18 June 2012

1855: record Ponzi sentences – an appropriate tariff for Emeric Sauty de Chalon and Fabien Hyon?

10 Rue des Moulins (Maison Ponzi?), Paris where the offices of 1855 are located 

Last week Allen Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in jail for running a Ponzi scheme:

'Allen Stanford jailed for 110 years for $7bn Ponzi (14th June 2012)
Disgraced tycoon Allen Stanford has been sentenced to 110 years in jail for operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of more than $7bn (£4.5bn).'

Substantial although Stanford's 110 year sentence is, it is easily eclipsed by 150 years given to Ponzi king – Bernard Madoff:

'Bernard Madoff jailed after pleading guilty to Ponzi fraud (12th March 2009)
Bernard Madoff, the disgraced Wall Street financier, was jailed after pleading guilty in New York to masterminding one of the biggest ever corporate frauds – a $50bn Ponzi scheme.

The 70-year-old, dressed in a grey business suit, was led out of court in handcuffs after Judge Denny Chin ordered that he should be held pending sentencing on June 16. He faces a maximum 150-year jail sentence.

The huge sentences handed down to Madoff and Stanford raises some intriguing questions in respect to 1855 and, in particular, to Emeric Sauty de Chalon and Fabien Hyon. If these two scamsters were ever tried and convicted of fraud what would be an appropriate sentence – what tariff ought to be applied?

There are naturally a number of caveats here. 

Neither Emeric Sauty de Chalon nor Fabien Hyon has yet been charged with any crime. Indeed they appear to continue to enjoy a high level of protection allowing them to continue to fleece a significant proportion of their customers with apparent impunity. As Emeric de Sauty de Chalon said in a video here the internet is 'une utile magique' (I assume he meant a wonderful invention for trousering your customers' money). 

Clearly some people get their wines, even those who order Bordeaux en primeur. However, the blizzard of court cases against 1855 graphically demonstrates, a significant number do not and are systematically fobbed off with unfulfilled promises assuming that they are able to contact 1855 – a big assumption! 

It is also clear that, although the frauds perpetrated by 1855 have been going on for some considerable time, they are nowhere near the magnitude of those committed by Stanford and Madoff.  

So what would be, if the circumstances arose, an appropriate punishment for Emeric Sauty de Chalon and Fabien Hyon?  


Shares in 1855 today traded between 0.03€ and 0.05€. Trading closed at 0.04€ and most of today's transactions were at 0.04€. 


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