Dominic Chappell found guilty of tax evasion

Former owner of BHS, Dominic Chappell, has been sentenced to six years in jail for tax evasion at Southward Crown Court, despite claiming pension problems in the chain had left him "broke".

Chappell was found guilty of failing to pay tax of around £584,000 on the £2.2m of income he received after purchasing the failed chain for £1 in 2015.

Whilst Chappell's lawyers claimed he had become "utterly broke" after the BHS "pension problem exploded", the court heard that he had spent the money on two yachts, a Bentley and a holiday to the Bahamas.

Chappell has previously faced regulatory action relating to the BHS pension scheme, after the business collapsed into administration in April 2016, triggering the loss of 11,000 jobs amid a pension deficit of £571m.

In November 2016, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) began enforcement action against Chappell, in order to seek redress for the 20,000 pension scheme members affected by the retailer’s collapse, also accusing Chappell of “having his fingers in the till”.

Subsequently, in January 2020, Chappell was ordered to pay £9.5m into the company’s two pension schemes by The Pension Regulator, which marked the end of a year’s long saga for the pension scheme.

Whilst the BHS pension scheme was able to enter into the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) assessment period in April 2016, it has since recently secured a £2.5m bulk annuity with Legal & General, securing member benefits in excess of PPF levels.

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