BHS owner arrested

14 November 2016

Dominic Chappell, the businessman Sir Philip Green sold BHS to for £1, has been arrested for unpaid taxes.

It has been reported that HMRC officers arrested Mr Chappell at his home in Dorset over the weekend. His personal company, Swiss Rock, owes more than £500,000 in tax – money that he allegedly made from his ownership of BHS, which collapsed in April this year.

When it closed, the chain of high street stores had a pension deficit of £571m and 11,000 jobs were lost. However, Retail Acquisitions, the consortium that bought BHS and had Dominic Chappell as its major shareholder, made a reported £17m in the 13 months it owned BHS.

The BHS pension fund is now going through an assessment for the Pension Protection Fund, which provides compensation for workers who lose their pension rights when their employer collapses.

As part of this process investigators are seeking to assess whether the former owners of BHS are liable to meet the ongoing costs of paying employees pensions.

Earlier this month Moneywise reported that the Pensions Regulator was taking enforcement action against Sir Philip Green and Dominic Chappell. Both were sent warning notices explaining why the regulator believes they need to financially support the BHS pension.

Chief executive of the Pensions Regulator, Lesley Titcomb said: “Our decision to launch enforcement action is an important milestone in our work to attain redress for the thousands of members of BHS schemes who have been placed in this position through no fault of their own.”

“Issuing warning notices at this time reflects the outcome of our investigations and that we are yet to receive a sufficiently credible and comprehensive offer in respect of the BHS schemes. We continue to pursue the best deal for members of the BHS pension schemes. If parties wish to approach us with settlement offers, that course remains open to them.”

In October MPs also voted to strip Sir Philip Green of his knighthood.

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