Accountant charged over misleading the regulator

Accountant charged over misleading the regulator

The Pensions Regulator is prosecuting an accountant for deliberately providing it with false information. 

According to The Pensions Regulator (TPR), this is the first time the watchdog has charged charged a third party, working on behalf of an employer, for this offence.

A statement from TPR said Hashmukh Shah, 63, of Richmond, Surrey, has been charged with knowingly or recklessly providing false or misleading information to TPR, which suggested the employer he was working for had put staff at a London cafe into a workplace pension.

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Mr Shah is accused of falsely claiming that staff at London-based Gran Caffe Londra, run by Primadell Ltd, had been enrolled into a workplace pension scheme, when he knew this was not the case.

TPR alleged Mr Shah did so to avoid an inspection taking place, which would have uncovered the employer’s failure to automatically enrol its staff.

Deliberately providing false information to TPR about compliance with automatic enrolment duties is an offence under section 80 of the Pensions Act 2004.

While auto-enrolment was being rolled out, advisers were warned they could find themselves facing legal action for decision made on behalf of employers.

Mr Shah is due to appear at Brighton Magistrates Court on 15 August 2018.