Three men appeared in court yesterday accused of trying to sell London's Ritz Hotel for £250 million ($544 million) in a deal described by prosecutors as "complete fantasy".

The men allegedly used the promise of acquiring the five-star hotel as a way of convincing potential buyers to hand over a £1 million deposit.

Anthony Lee, 49, Patrick Dolan, 68, and Conn Farrell, 57, all deny conspiracy to defraud.