BHS’s Chappell convicted by TPR

Dominic Chappell, the man bought BHS for £1, has been found guilty of failing to give information to The Pensions Regulator about the sale of the company.

Chappell, who is 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).

Chappell failed to provide information about the purchase of BHS by Retail Acquisitions Limited and the participants involved, as well as transactions involving BHS and Retail Acquisitions Limited after the sale had been completed.

TPR demanded he supply this information as part of its investigation into the sale and then collapse of BHS, using powers under section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004.

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

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

Separate anti-avoidance action against Chappell by TPR in respect of the BHS pension schemes is continuing.

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

The case is the fifth criminal conviction secured by TPR against individuals or organisations for failing to comply with Section 72 notices.

TPR executive director of frontline regulation Nicola Parish says: “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 co-operate with our information notices risks getting a criminal record.”