Three women have pleaded not guilty to impersonating murdered County Durham oil executive Carole Waugh to go on a shopping spree for designer handbags and perfume.
Elaine Perkins, 51, Deborah Burke, 49, and Susan O’Shea, 61, all deny committing fraud by pretending to be Miss Waugh.
She was reported missing from her home in Marylebone, central London on May 7 and had not been seen since mid-April.
Her body was found stabbed inside a car in a lock-up garage in Lime Court, New Malden, on August 2.
She lived in London but was originally from Haswell, a few miles outside Durham.
Three women pleaded not guilty to fraud charges at the Old Bailey yesterday.
O’Shea denied using a credit card in Miss Waugh’s name to buy Chanel and Mulberry bags at Selfridges, and at the Chanel store in Old Bond Street.
Burke is accused of using a different credit card under the victim’s name at the Apple store and a perfume shop at Westfield Stratford City in east London.
Perkins, who is alleged to have aided and abetted Burke, is also accused of claiming to be Miss Waugh during a bid to sell the woman’s British Aerospace shares and take out loans.
Rakesh Bhayani, 41, and Nicholas Kutner, 48, who also appeared at the Old Bailey today, denied murdering Miss Waugh at an earlier hearing.
Bhayani has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice by concealing the death of Miss Waugh, attempting to dispose of her body and removing potential evidence related to her death.
He and Kutner also admitted conspiring to defraud Miss Waugh after withdrawing cash from her bank accounts and taking out loans and using credit cards in her name.
Kutner, who denies perverting the course of justice, admitted a further three charges of fraud after pretending to be Miss Waugh’s brother Christopher to charge rent for her flat.
Derek Eastham, 56, and Elie Khoury, 40, deny conspiracy to defraud, while Eastham has admitted possessing counterfeit money.
A trial date was set for October 7. The Crown decided to offer no evidence against Bhayani’s wife, Sheetal, who was accused of possessing £5,800 knowing it to have been obtained through crime.Since her mid-20s Miss Waugh spent time in Libya and London but she would always contact relatives, even while she was living in Tripoli.