THREE women have denied impersonating a murdered woman to go on a spending spree with her cash.
Oil executive Carole Waugh, who grew up in Haswell and went to school in Peterlee, was found stabbed in a car locked within a garage in New Malden in south west London on August 2 last year.
The 50-year-old had been reported missing from her home in Marylebone in the capital on May 7 and had not been seen since mid-April.
Elaine Perkins, 51, Deborah Burke, 49, and Susan O’Shea, 61, pleaded not guilty to fraud by pretending to be Miss Waugh when they appeared at the Old Bailey.
Perkins is also accused of aiding and abetting Burke and claiming to be Miss Waugh during a bid to sell her British Aerospace shares and take out loans. Rakesh Bhayani, 41, and Nicholas Kutner, 48, who have appeared at the same court, have denied murdering her at an earlier hearing.
Bhyani 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 relating to her death.
He and Kutner have also admitted conspiring to defraud her and withdrawing her cash, while Kutner, who denies perverting the course of justice, has admitted fraud by 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 of October 7 has been set.