Photo via The Argus
The businessman who acquired BHS, the failing retailer, for only £1, Dominic Chappell, has been found to guilty of failing to provide information to The Pensions Regulator.
The lawyer of Chappell claimed that he was being used as a “political scapegoat” by the watchdog, which the lawyer claimed was desperate to be regarded to be taking action following “15 years of negligence.”
However, today, Chappell was found guilty of three charges of refusing to hand over information about two of the pension schemes of BHS, which had about 19,000 members between them.
During today’s trial, Chappell claimed that he had seen the staff of Philip Green shredding “bin bags” that are full of documents before he acquired BHS in 2015.
However, Judge William Ashworth said that Chappell was not a credible witness. He also said that some parts of Chappell’s explanation had made no sense.
The deliberation of Judge Ashworth went on for six hours before coming to a verdict at Brighton Magistrates Court.
The proceedings have currently been adjourned for a later date, on which the fines for the said offences will be determined. There is no set limit on how much Chappell could be charged. However, the largest previous fine in a similar case was £5,000.
The Pensions Regulator is assumed to be still pursuing Chappell for his contribution to the black hole in the pension fund of BHS, to the tune of £10m.
Sir Philip Green, the former owner, has already agreed to contribute £363m to the pot.