Ex-BHS owner Dominic Chappell jailed for six years for tax evasion

Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell has been jailed for six years for evading £584,000 in taxes.

Chappell failed to pay the tax on £2.2m in income he received after buying the chain for £1 in 2015 from retail tycoon Sir Philip Green.

Meanwhile he splashed out on a luxury lifestyle which included a £90,000 yacht, a Bentley Continental car, and a Bahamas holiday.

BHS collapsed in 2016 after 88 years on the high street – with the failure costing 11,000 jobs and leaving a gaping pension deficit.

Serial bankrupt Chappell, 53, was convicted of evading VAT, corporation tax and income tax after a trial at London’s Southwark crown court.

The charges related to Chappell’s personal services company Swiss Rock, which was paid to facilitate the purchase of BHS by Retail Acquisitions Ltd, where he was a director.

The judge, Mr Justice Bryan said the businessman had engaged in a “long and consistent course of conduct designed to cheat the revenue”.

Chappell’s lawyers had claimed Chappell was left “utterly broke” after the scale of BHS’s pension problems “exploded” within two weeks of him buying BHS and that, had it not failed, he would have been able to pay the tax liability.

The businessman, of Blandford Forum, Dorset, had told the court he was “simply too busy” to sort out his business dealings properly and sought to blame former owner Sir Philip and auditors PwC for his misfortunes.

But the judge told him: “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.”

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