FIVE people are to face trial next year accused of conspiring to launder criminally-made cash by transferring large sums of money between various bank accounts.

Appearing at a plea hearing at Durham Crown Court, Phillip Hall denied the charge of conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property.

The charge states that those involved in the conspiracy, with “others unknown”, used the UK banking system to transfer money between various bank accounts.

Spanning dates between January 1, 2014, and September 11, 2019, those involved are said to have helped to move potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds of the proceeds of illicit drug supply.

Read more: Durham man hands over £850,000 of alleged criminal profits

The 35-year-old defendant, of Newtown Bungalows, Spennymoor, is the fifth defendant to have denied the charge at the court, this month.

At a previous hearing, on February 9, Christopher Taylor, 48, of Low Greenfields, Tony Brown, 36, and 35-year-old Andrew Brown, both of Wharton Street, all in Bishop Auckland, plus Laura Randall, 36, of Silkin Way, Newton Aycliffe, each also pleaded not guilty.

A further defendant, also from Bishop Auckland, was unable to attend the hearing due to medical treatment she was said to be undergoing.

The cases of all five alleged conspirators were adjourned for what is estimated to be a three-week trial, starting at Newcastle Crown Court, on February 20, 2023.

All five, however, were bailed to attend a further case management hearing in the case, also to be heard at Newcastle Crown Court, on Thursday July 8.

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