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Ex-BHS owner denies pension probe charges

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Dominic Chappell, the businessman at the helm of BHS when it collapsed last year, has denied charges linked to an investigation by The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

He appeared at Brighton Magistrates Court accused of three offences under the Pensions Act 2004.
Mr Chappell, who represented himself, entered formal not guilty pleas to the charges of neglecting or refusing to provide information and documents, without a reasonable excuse.
A representative of the regulator told the hearing the information was related to TPR’s investigation into the purchase and subsequent demise of BHS.

Video: Former BHS boss Dominic Chappell to be prosecuted

Mr Chappell was director and majority shareholder of Retail Acquisitions, the company that bought BHS for £1 from Sir Philip Green in 2015.
Its collapse a year later, with the loss of 11,000 jobs, also left 19,000 staff and former staff facing uncertainty over their retirement income until Sir Philip later agreed to pay £363m to help fill a shortfall in the retailer’s pension schemes.

Alex Stein, for TPR, told the court: “There was a large pensions shortfall at the time of the BHS collapse but these offences do not really much relate to that.
“These are technical offences.”
Mr Chappell accused TPR in court of abusing its powers, insisting it had all the information it needed.
He told the judge: “Myself and my team that I have worked with throughout the BHS days have complied fully with every single regulatory body.”
A trial date was fixed for 4 January at the same court. It is expected to last up to four days.

Source: SKY