The former owner of BHS, Dominic Chappell, has been jailed for six years for evading paying tax from the deal which saw him acquire the now defunct department store.
According to Sky News, Chappell was convicted after he failed to pay £580,000 in tax on the £2.2m income he gained after he bought BHS in for just £1m in 2015 from Arcadia founder Sir Phillip Green.
BHS furniture store folded in 2016 after a 88 year stint on the UK high street, at the time the closure cost 11,000 jobs and a pension deficit, an issue which resulted in a separate case conducted last year where Hove Crown Court fined him £124K for breaking pensions law.
The trial held this week at London’s Southwark crown court, heard that Chappell was convicted of evading VAT, corporation tax. The charges were related to the business owners personal services company Swiss Rock, which was paid to fund the purchase of BHS by Retail Acquisitions Ltd, where he once held the position of director.
In court reports obtained by Sky, Chappell’s defence argued he has been left “utterly broke” after the size of BHS’s pension problems “exploded” within two weeks of him purchasing BHS.”
With lawyers arguing had the company not collapsed in such a short space of time he would have been able to pay the tax in a legal manner.
However the judge told Chappell:”You were not overwhelmed by your other pressures, and you were not too busy or under too much pressure to spare the time to buy yourself trappings of luxury with monies that would have been better deployed to pay the taxes due.”
The date in which Chappell enters prison has not yet been disclosed.