A woman has appeared in court accused of laundering over £1.5 million as part of social media travel agency scam.

Lyne Barlow, 39, made her first appearance by videolink after she was charged in relation to the complex fraud case regarding the online sale of luxury holidays.

She was arrested in connection with an independent travel business in Stanley in September 2020.

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Information provided to the court revealed dozens of alleged victims who claim to have lost amounts ranging from £1,195 to £114,560.

Mrs Barlow, who previously lived in Stanley, but now lives elsewhere in the UK, has been charged with 17 counts of fraud, one count of theft and one count of converting criminal property by means of financial transaction.

Prosecuting, John Garside said: "There are a number of alleged victims of fraud in this case. Due to the amounts, it falls outside this court's powers of sentencing."

The alleged frauds are believed to relate to loans, investments, and holiday sales and are said to have taken place between December 31, 2014, and January 1, 2022.

It is understood the travel business is no longer operational, and its social media page was taken down shortly after her arrest.

The hearing was adjourned and proceedings have been committed to Durham Crown Court.

Mrs Barlow was represented at the hearing by Suzanne Hanson who made no objection.

Mrs Barlow is due to appear at Durham Crown Court on October 3.

Chairman of the bench William Unsworth adjourned the case and granted unconditional bail until the next hearing.

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