FORMER director of Island Harbour, Dominic Chappell, who famously bought BHS for £1, has been jailed for six years.

He was found guilty of evading tax of £584,000.

A criminal investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed Isle of Wight businessman Chappell, 53, now of Winterborne Clenston, Dorset, deliberately evaded VAT and corporation tax payments for his personal services company, Swiss Rock Ltd, and did not disclose dividend income.

Chappell provided consultancy services through Swiss Rock to facilitate the purchase of BHS by Retail Acquisitions Ltd, where he was a director.

Chappell failed to submit VAT returns for a 17-month period from March 2015, evading £343,511.

HMRC’s investigation revealed the company’s sales invoices totalled £2.3 million, meaning he was liable for £351,944 in VAT. He paid just £8,433.

The businessman also paid just £10,000 of £164,064 in corporation tax due to HMRC and neglected to notify HMRC of a £330,000 dividend paid to him through Swiss Rock, which entered liquidation in 2016.

The income tax evaded on the dividend totalled £86,163.

The court heard, that despite mounting debt, Chappell splashed out on luxuries including yachts, expensive cars, and holidays.

Simon York, director of the Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC, said: "This was deliberate theft from UK citizens. Chappell was a high-profile businessman who knew tax had to be paid on his income and profits but chose not to do so.

"That’s money that should have been supporting our vital public services instead of funding his lavish lifestyle.

“Today’s result sends a clear message to the minority who commit tax crime that no matter who you are or what resources you have at your disposal, no one is beyond our reach.”

Isle of Wight County Press: A photo has been released showing Dominic Chappell on his arrest by HMRC investigators in 2016.A photo has been released showing Dominic Chappell on his arrest by HMRC investigators in 2016.

Dominic Chappell denied the offences during a hearing in June 2019.

He was found guilty and sentenced today, November 5, following a four-week trial at Southwark Crown Court, prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service. Chappell will serve half on licence.

Chappell first hit the headlines when he bought BHS from Philip Green for £1, before it closed down in 2016.

He joined Island Harbour in 2006 and went bankrupt in 2009. New owners took over in 2013.

Last November, Chappell was banned from running a company for ten years by the Insolvency Service.

The service also disqualified his 81-year-old father Joseph for five years.