A PACKED Philadelphia courtroom is expected this morning for the preliminary hearing of Linda Ann Weston - the alleged ringleader of a sordid scam to defraud four mentally disabled adults of their Social Security checks by locking them in a Tacony apartment sub-basement.

It will be the first public appearance in the case for Weston, now 52, and her co-defendants - her boyfriend, Gregory Thomas, 48; her daughter, Jean McIntosh, 32; and a self-described pastor, Eddie Wright, 50.

Weston's attorney, George Yacoubian, said yesterday that he expects at least one of the alleged victims to testify, and that the hearing could continue into tomorrow.

All four defendants are charged with kidnapping, conspiracy, assault and related offenses in relation to the four victims, whom the landlord of the Tacony building found locked and malnourished Oct. 15.

Yacoubian said he also expects crime-scene photos or video to be introduced as evidence during the Municipal Court hearing.

Weston, Wright and McIntosh also are charged with kidnapping and imprisoning Weston's 19-year-old niece, who was found by police on Oct. 18 inside a Northeast Philadelphia house.