Vincent Bootes was tried in his absence and found guilty at Brighton Magistrates’ Court last week.
The TPR brought a prosecution against him over allegations he failed to comply with two notices issued under section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004.
The 58-year-old, who had previously entered a not guilty plea, claimed he could not attend court as he was considered persona non grata in the UK. He also renounced his British citizenship to take a position as an ambassador for The Republic of Gambia in West Africa.
The two notices were issued as part of a TPR investigation into whistleblowers’ allegations that staff working for him at PGT Ceewrite Engineering had not had automatic enrolment workplace pension contributions paid by his companies, despite the money being deducted from their pay-packets.
The companies were registered at an address in Station Road, Liphook, Hampshire or an address in Anyards Road, Cobham, Surrey.
The notices, which required Mr Bootes to give TPR information about his companies, were issued to him at his Hampshire address on 1 June 2018 and 12 September 2018.
Although Mr Bootes claimed to have provided the information it was never received by TPR.
Mr Bootes was found guilty of two charges of neglecting or refusing to provide information and documents, without reasonable excuse, when required to do under section 72 of the Pension Act 2004 contrary to section 77(1) of the Act.
Finding Mr Bootes guilty of both offences in the one-day trial, Judge Szagun said: “In terms of culpability I find given the continuing history of lack of compliance, it’s clear to me his intention is at the highest level of avoidance and manipulation and this places his culpability in the highest category of intent.”
Mr Bootes was ordered to pay more than £82,970, made up of £30,000 in fines for each of the two offences, £22,800 in costs and a £170 surcharge.
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