A FORMER West Midlands MEP will appear before magistrates today (Wednesday, September 17) accused of money laundering offences after an inquiry into her expense claims.

Nikki Sinclaire, who lost her seat in the European Parliament earlier this year, also faces an allegation of committing misconduct in a public office.

Sinclaire was charged in July this year after a long-running inquiry by West Midlands Police and the European Anti-Fraud Office.

Two of the three charges against Sinclaire, brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act, allege that she converted criminal property between October 2009 and December 2010.

Prosecutors further allege that Sinclaire committed misconduct between October 2009 and July 2010 "in that she made or caused to be made" false and dishonest claims for travelling expenses.

Sinclaire lost her seat as an MEP for the West Midlands in last May's European elections after leaving Ukip and standing for the We Demand a Referendum Now party.

The 45-year-old, who lives in Shirley, near Solihull, has described the allegations as "ludicrous and unfounded".

In a statement issued in July, Sinclaire said: "I strongly refute these charges and will be firmly defending myself."