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SFO to investigate Chappell and Sutton on £1 BHS purchase…

According to a number of reports, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has commenced an official investigation into the former owner of BHS, Dominic Chappell and his business partner and convicted fraud criminal, Paul Sutton, which will focus on the negotiations leading up to the £1 purchase made in March 2015.

Although it is thought that Sutton was the initial bidder in purchasing BHS, a source informed Sir Phillip Green of Sutton’s past conviction and Chappell – who has been declared bankrupt three times – subsequently took over the deal.

The SFO investigation comes as it was announced earlier this month that two board members, Stephen Bourne and Mark Tasker, from Chappell’s Retail Acquisitions firm were placed under an Insolvency Service investigation to coincide with its analysis into the BHS collapse, and were allegedly paid £387,500 each for part in the acquisition deal.

The Guardian reports that Chappell owes the HMRC more than £500,000 on profits made as the owner of the collapsed retailer, and legal proceedings have begun to acquire the money. However, as the business has been put into liquidation, Chappell could walk away without paying a penny.  

 

Read more from The Guardian here