He failed to turn up for a court appearance this week because he had booked a diving holiday to Cuba, The Pensions Regulator said.
Michael Woolley, 63, of Oakdene Road, Redhill, Surrey, failed to appear before Brighton Magistrates yesterday (Wednesday 4 March) after informing the court he had already booked the holiday.
In his absence, the businessman was ordered to pay a total of £12,800 - a £10,000 fine and £2,800 in costs - for failing to comply with a TPR order to hand over information and documents relating to the schemes.
The court heard one of the reasons given for his continued failure to provide the information was that he had been busy attempting to qualify for the Fastnet Race – an offshore yacht contest.
The company director is at the centre of an investigation by The Pensions Regulator.
TPR asked Mr Woolley for information about investments relating to money and assets from 16 pension schemes as part of an ongoing investigation.
TPR has the power to request relevant information and documents under section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004.
Mr Woolley is the director and a shareholder of Southbank Capital Limited, where the money was invested, and is also a director of PIM Trustees Limited, a trustee for the pension schemes.
TPR formally requested the information over a year ago on 22 January 2019 but Mr Woolley failed to provide all of the information requested by the statutory deadline of 12 February 2019 without a reasonable excuse.
The TPR said he had been “prioritising leisure activities” over provision of required information to TPR.
District Judge Tessa Szagun found that, as the sole director, Woolley should have had access to the required information and his failure to provide it tied up TPR’s time and resources.
Erica Carroll, TPR’s director of enforcement, said: “The use of our information gathering powers is essential in our work to safeguard people’s pensions. Anyone refusing to comply with our requests without good reason should take note – they could find themselves in court with a criminal record.”
Mr Woolley was ordered to pay the money within 28 days.