Dominic Chappell to appear in court for withholding BHS sale information

Dominic Chappell trial

The last owner of collapsed department store chain BHS will appear in court today to face accusations of failing to hand over information to an investigation into the sale of retailer.

Dominic Chappell was summonsed in August to appear at Brighton Magistrates‘ Court to face three charges of neglecting or refusing to provide information and documents to The Pensions Regulator without a reasonable excuse.

The regulator said they requested information from Chappell on three occasions – twice in 2016 and once again last year.

Chappell has been accused by the regulator of failing to comply with notices issued under Section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004.

He pleaded not guilty to all three charges.

A former bankrupt, Chappell headed Retail Acquisitions, the firm that bought BHS off Sir Philip Green‘s Arcadia Group retail empire for £1 in March 2015.

The 51-year-old represented himself at his previous hearing, where he was refused an adjournment after he alleged he had not seen a court summons because he had been on a boat at sea when it was served.

Chappell also accused The Pensions Regulator of abusing its powers – which it disputes – and claimed it briefed the press before he learned he was being sued.

In September, district judge William Ashworth adjourned the case for trial from today.

The trial is expected to last four days.

BHS plunged into administration 13 months after Chappell acquired it, affecting 11,000 jobs and around 19,000 pension holders due to a £571 million pension deficit.

Under Chappell‘s leadership, £8.4 million was taken out of BHS by Retail Acquisitions, with £6 million still owed when it collapsed in April 2016.

The Serious Fraud Office and the Insolvency Service are also carrying out their own investigations into the demise of BHS.

Retail Acquisitions itself was put into liquidation in May, although Chappell said at the time he would challenge the court ruling.

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