Dominic Chappell convicted of withholding information from TPR on BHS

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Mr Chappell is facing three charges of "neglecting or refusing" to provide information requested by the Pensions Regulator.

Within days of the deal, The Pensions Regulator was demanding hundreds of documents in relation to what is said was a £571m black hole in the BHS pension fund.

But he was found to have had no reasonable excuse for not providing the information requested by The Pensions Regulator.

The Pensions Regulator, which is based in Brighton, served a legal notice requiring Chappell to hand over information about the sale and subsequent collapse of BHS.

Nicola Parish, TPR's executive director of frontline regulation, said: "Dominic Chappell failed to provide us with information we had requested in connection with our investigation into the sale and ultimate collapse of BHS, despite numerous requests".

On more than one occasion as he delivered his judgment at Brighton Magistrates' Court, Judge Ashworth said: "I do not believe the defendant's account at all".

Following the verdict he told reporters outside the court: "As you can imagine I'm extremely disappointed and annoyed about the outcome".

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But he accused the regulator of being responsible for the leak. Sir Philip later agreed to pay £363 million towards it.

During the trial, Chappell had attempted to portray himself as a man more sinned against than sinning, claiming that he had wanted to cooperate with the regulator, but that his efforts had been curtailed by a number of factors.

He added: "We feel that this case has not been treated fairly and we will look deeply into this". It is not the one we were looking for.

"Anyone who fails to cooperate with our information notices risks getting a criminal record". Chappell faces either a monetary fine and/or up to two years in prison.

The Pensions Regulator is also pursuing Chappell for a contribution - understood to be in the millions - to the BHS pension schemes in a separate action.

In court yesterday (Thursday 11 January) District Judge William Ashworth adjourned the case until next Friday (19 January) when Chappell is due to be sentenced at Winchester Crown Court.

"TPR's determinations panel is considering evidence submitted by various parties and is expected to be in a position to issue its written determination notice to affected parties in the coming weeks".

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