Frank Field, the co-author of a damming parliamentary select committee report on BHS, has written to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) urging it to launch an inquiry into the collapse of the retail chain.
Field, the chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, has written to the head of the SFO, asking the criminal prosecutor to initiate an inquiry into whether billionaire retailer Sir Philip Green, Dominic Chappell or other associates had broken the law.
The veteran Labour MP said he was asking for the move "in the light of the extraordinary evidence" uncovered by his report published on Monday (25 July).
The letter added the SFO, led by director David Green, should look into "whether money was moved in such a way as to attempt to mislead people into believing Mr Chappell was a credible buyer for BHS".
The SFO confirmed it had received Mr Field's letter today (28 July), adding it was already looking into to the details of the case.
An SFO spokesperson said: "The SFO confirms it is reviewing material in its possession. If the director considers there are reasonable grounds to suspect serious or complex fraud which meets his criteria he will open a criminal investigation."
Field's letter comes days after Green demanded an "immediate apology" from the MP for comments he made about the retailer's running of the failed chain.
The MP compared Green unfavourably to late media magnate Robert Maxwell, who took millions from the Mirror Group's pension funds, in an interview with the BBC's Today programme.
A letter from Schillings, the law firm representing Green, said his comments were "highly defamatory and completely false" and demanded an apology. Field, chairman of the Work and Pensions committee, has not apologised.
MPs blamed Green, triple bankrupt Dominic Chappell and their "hangers-on" for the collapse of the BHS, putting 11,000 jobs at risk, in a joint report by the Work and Pensions committee and the Business, Innovation and Skills committee.
The report stated that during Green's 15-year ownership of BHS "significantly more money left the company than was invested in it". It also alleged the Green family extracted more than £300m ($394m, €359m) from BHS.
Green sold the business to Chappell in March 2015 for £1, only for it to collapse within 13 months with a pension deficit of £571m affecting up to 20,000 employees' pensions.
All of BHS's remaining stores will close by the end of August 2016 after the store went into administration in April.
The report also singled out Chappell, which it said had not put money into the retailer and yet "had his hands in the till". It said the former racing driver had personally taken £4.1m from the company in the 13 months he owned BHS, including a £1.5m interest-free loan, which was secured against his father's house.
Investment banking group Goldman Sachs, law firm Olswang and accountancy firm Grant Thornton were also criticised for their roles in the sale of BHS to Mr Chappell in March 2015.