A FORMER Uttoxeter MEP has hit out at police after being charged with money laundering and misconduct in a public office.
Nikki Sinclaire, who lost her seat in this year's European election, has branded the accusations made against her 'ludicrous and unfounded'.
The 45-year-old, of Shirley, was arrested by West Midlands Police in Feburary 2012 and has been on police bail.
She denies any wrongdoing and has vowed to defend herself.
In a statement, Sinclaire, who was a member of UKIP before leaving the party to instead represent We Demand A Referendum Now, said she was 'disappointed' that police had chosen to charge her following an investigation which has spanned the past two-and-a-half years.
She said: "The charges relate to my time as a UKIP MEP when I was under guidance and oversight by the party in parliament.
"This will be pivotal in resolving the matter.
"During my time as an MEP I put in more than £120,000 of my salary into the cost of my work activities.
"It was also me, who in 2010, drew the attention of the West Midlands Police to irregularities I discovered had taken place without my knowledge in my UKIP office.
"I strongly refute these charges and will be firmly defending myself.
"I am certain I shall be found innocent of these ludicrous and unfounded accusations."
Three other people were also arrested regarding the offence but it has been confirmed that no further action will be taken against them.
Sinclaire will appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court to answer the charges put to her on Wednesday, September 17.
Simon Orme, lawyer with the Crown Prosecution Service special crime division, said: "We have determined that there is a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.
"Criminal proceedings have now commenced and Ms Sinclaire has the right to a fair trial.
"It is important there is no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."