Dominic Chappell, the businessman who bought BHS from Sir Philip Green for £1 a year before the company collapsed with 11,000 jobs lost, has been barred from serving as a company director for ten years.
Sky News first reported today that the Insolvency Service had handed the the three-time bankrupt the decade-long ban.
The ban comes more than 18 months after the government body announced that it was pursuing disqualification proceedings against Chappell and three other directors.
Chappell’s 81 year-old father Joseph has also been banned for five years. A third director, Chris Sutton, had been banned for the same period of time.
The long-running investigation into the disastrous takeover had already ruled out further action against Sir Philip.
In a statement, the Insolvency Service said:
“During the hearing the court heard that, while a director of BHS Limited, Chappell wrongfully diverted £1.5 million of funds from BHS Limited to a company based in Sweden. The transaction took place one day after the potential appointment of an administrator for BHS Limited had been discussed by the board of directors.
“Chappell also transferred funds in excess of £1 million to Retail Acquisitions Limited, a company he was also a director of and 90% shareholder at the time. The funds should have been retained by BHS and BHS Properties as proceeds from property sales in London’s Oxford Street and Sunderland respectively.
“The court also heard that during the time he was the sole director of Retail Acquisitions, Chappell failed to maintain, preserve or deliver up adequate accounting records to the Insolvency Service.”
At the time of its collapse in April 2016 BHS’s pension deficit stood at £571m. Nine months later Sir Philip made a deal with the Pensions Regulator to provide up to £363m of funding for the pensions.
The ban is a latest in a series of legal actions Chappell has encountered since his ownership of BHS made him public enemy number one.
The pensions watchdog hit him with a £10m bill to recover funds owned to the retailer’s retirement pot, while next year will see Chappell brought to trial on charges he failed to pay up to £500m in taxes.
Under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, the Insolvency Service can ban individuals from serving as directors for up to 15 years.
Main image credit: Getty