The businessman that bought a struggling BHS for £1 from Sir Philip Green in March 2015, has been ordered to pay more than £87,000 for failing to supply information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
The judge at Barkingside Magistrates Court ordered Dominic Chappell to pay a £50,000 fine, £30,000 in costs as well as a £170 victim surcharge – an additional fee that is levied by the court to help fund victim support services.
The Pensions Regulator had requested information from Mr Chappell when it was investigating the sale and collapse of BHS, which he was obliged to supply under the terms of Section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004. Following a trial in January, he was found guilty of three charges of neglecting or refusing to provide information and documents without reasonable excuse.
This is the fifth criminal conviction that has been bought to court by TPR for individuals or organisations for failing to adequately respond to Section 72 notices.
Commenting on the case, Judge Gary Lucie says: “The court must send a message to those in senior positions that refusal to answer questions under Section 72 will not be tolerated. The law is there for a purpose and it must be enforced. There is a complete lack of remorse on Mr Chappell’s part.”
His views were echoed by Nicola Parish, TPR’s executive director of frontline regulation. She says: “We prosecuted Dominic Chappell because despite numerous requests he failed to provide us with information we required in connection with our investigation into the sale and ultimate collapse of BHS.
“Choosing not to comply with our Section 72 notices has now left him with a criminal record and a bill for more than £87,000, both of which he could have avoided if he had simply done what was required of him. Information notices are a vital investigative tool for us. Ignoring them is a crime that can lead to prosecution.”