BHS boss guilty of failing to hand over information to TPR

BHS boss guilty of failing to hand over information to TPR

The majority shareholder of the company that bought BHS for £1 has been convicted of failing to hand over information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

Dominic Chappell failed to provide information that TPR had required him to supply as part of its investigation into the sale and then collapse of BHS, using powers under section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004.

This included information about the purchase of BHS by Retail Acquisitions and the participants involved, as well as transactions involving BHS and Retail Acquisitions after the sale had been completed.

Chappell also failed to provide TPR with information about a possible unauthorised disclosure of restricted material.

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Chappell was found guilty of three charges of neglecting or refusing to provide information and documents, without a reasonable excuse. He had denied the charges.

District Judge William Ashworth adjourned the case until 19 January, when Chappell will be sentenced at Winchester Crown Court.

Nicola Parish, executive director of frontline regulation at TPR, said: “We are satisfied with the outcome of this case, the latest in a series of successful prosecutions by TPR for offences of this kind.”

“Dominic Chappell failed to provide us with information we had requested in connection with our investigation into the sale and ultimate collapse of BHS, despite numerous requests.”

“The power to demand specific information is a key investigative tool in our work to protect people’s pensions. This conviction shows that the courts recognise its importance and that anyone who fails to cooperate with our information notices risks getting a criminal record.”

TPR’s separate anti-avoidance action against Chappell in respect of the BHS pension schemes is continuing.

The previous owner of the now defunct BHS, Sir Philip Green, agreed to pay £363 million to save its pension schemes last year.

The deal with TPR followed the collapse of the BHS department store chain earlier in 2017. It resulted in the loss of 11,000 jobs and left a pension deficit of £571 million.

Categories: News, UK Pensions

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