The former owner of collapsed retailer British Home Stores, Dominic Chappell, has been fined nearly £124,000 for breaking the pensions law after the troubled department store collapsed into administration.
The presider over the re-sentencing that was held today at Hove Crown Court, Judge Christine Henson QC, reprimanded Chappell for displaying a “complete lack of remorse.” He was ordered to pay a fine and court costs amounting to £50,000 and £73,900, respectively.
Previously, Chappell was found guilty last January for not being able to provide The Pensions Regulator with the information regarding the pension scheme of the company after acquiring it from Topshop’s Sir Philip Green for only £1 in 2015.
At the time, the entrepreneur was required to pay £37,000 in costs, a £170 victim surcharge, and a £50,000 fine. He later appealed his conviction, however, he lost that battle last September.
The department store collapsed one year after being sold off by Green. The closure was accompanied by the loss of approximately 11,000 jobs and a pension deficit of £571 million. The Pensions Regulator started its investigation of the business shortly after the said sale.
The pensions deficit was later plugged by Green. He was persuaded to put in £363 million to cover some of the costs of the said scheme after a picture of him living a lavish lifestyle on yachting holidays was released.
In an emotional address today, Chappell criticised Green. He reportedly said to the court: “I’m not a Philip Green sitting on a £100m yacht in the south of France who writes a cheque for £350m to make the problem go away.”
He added: “I’m a victim of the circumstances that came out of British Home Stores. I wish to God we never got involved in it.”