The Pensions Regulator has today announced it is prosecuting former BHS owner Dominic Chappell for allegedly failing to provide the regulator with information.
Mr Chappell was initially arrested in November last year.
But he has now been summoned to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ court on 20 September on charges of neglecting or refusing to provide information and documents about BHS without reasonable excuse. The offence carries a potentially unlimited fine.
Mr Chappell was director and majority shareholder in Retail Acquisitions Ltd, which acquired BHS for just £1 in 2015 from Sir Phillip Green.
Pradeep Oliver, a pensions litigation specialist at law firm Cripps, comments: “The criminal prosecution being brought for failure to comply with requests for information and documents under section 72 of the Pensions Act is an indication the Pensions Regulator’s patience is wearing thin with Mr Chappell. During the first quarter of 2017, the Pensions Regulator used this information-gathering power in 10 different cases and secured two criminal convictions for non-compliance.
“A section 72 notice is a powerful tool because there is no upper limit on the amount of the fine that can be imposed. The Pensions Regulator has sent a message that it will not tolerate what it sees as attempts to abuse the system by obstructing its investigations and preventing a conclusion being reached for the members of the BHS scheme.”