Dominic Chappell, director and majority shareholder of the organisation that bought BHS for £1, has been ordered to pay more than £124,000 for failing to hand over information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
Chappell failed to disclose details required by TPR under section 72 of the pensions act 2004 as part of its investigation into the sale and then collapse of BHS. He also failed to provide information about a possible unauthorised disclosure of restricted material.
Chappell was first convicted of the offences in January 2018. He appealed against both the conviction and sentence, but after losing his appeal at Hove Crown Court, he was ordered to appear in court again to be sentenced for the second time.
Chappell has now been ordered to pay a £50,000 fine, £73,900 costs and a £170 victim surcharge.
Judge Christine Henson QC stated that Chappell’s appeal was completely without merit, and that he had shown a lack of remorse for his behaviour, which she said was persistent, deliberate and constituted a blatant refusal to comply with TPR’s requests.
Henson also said Chappell’s refusal to comply with the requests under section 72 of the pensions act had caused a considerable delay to TPR, in addition to making its work significantly more difficult.
Nicola Parish, executive director of frontline regulation at TPR, said: “Dominic Chappell has consistently refused to provide the information about the sale of BHS that we demanded, despite the courts being clear that he should provide it. His repeated claims that he does not have to give us what we have been seeking have now been rejected by two different courts.”
Parish added: “Information notices are a vital investigative tool for us. As this case shows, if you ignore them you are committing a crime and should expect to be prosecuted.”