TWO people from Carlisle have appeared before a crown court judge accused of helping to hide more than £80,000 which was the product of an international “romance fraud.”

Laura Glendinning, 28, and her co-accused Anderson Boakye, 26, who both live at Crummock Street, Carlisle, were put before Judge Peter Davies at the city’s crown court yesterday for a brief hearing to plan what will happen next with the case.

Boakye entered not guilty pleas to two charges, both of which alleged that he was concerned in money laundering - hiding cash which was generated by crime - during October and November last year.

Answering both charges, the defendant, represented by lawyer David Wales, told the court clerk he was not guilty.

Glendinning also faces two money laundering charges.

According to court papers, she allegedly entered into a money laundering operation with Boakye in October and November last year.

One charge relates to £54,000 of allegedly illicit money, and the other to £26,500.

Boakye is named in both of the charges she faces.

In court, Glendinning - weeping as she sat in the dock - declined to enter any pleas. She was represented by defence lawyer Mark Shepherd. Explaining the case, prosecutor Gerard Rogerson told Judge Davies the charges relate to an alleged romance fraud originating in Ghana.

Merseyside Police had identified two alleged victims, one aged 74 and 84.

The prosecution allege that the proceeds of what police say was just such a scam were paid into the defendant’s bank accounts.

Yesterday’ hearing set out a timetable for various legal stages of the case.

After legal discussions, Judge Davies ruled that the defendants should return to court on July 5 for a further hearing. If there is to be a trial, it will start on July 29. Both were granted bail by the judge - Boakye’s on condition he remains at his current address, and reports to police on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and that he surrenders Ghanian travel documents he have to the police.

Details of the money laundering allegations against Boakye and Glendinning were not revealed, but a romance scam is defined as a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud.