Judge warns she faces a jail term
THE former head of fraud and security at Lloyds bank has admitted stealing £2.4m from under her bosses’ noses.
Jessica Harper, 50, abused her position while working at the Lloyds Banking Group between 2007 and 2011.
She submitted false invoices to claim £2,463,750.88 before laundering part of the proceeds buying property for her family.
It’s thought cash was also spent on improvements to a property in the south of France.
Harper was arrested by the Metropolitan Police’s economic and specialist crime unit following a tip-off.
Harper spoke only to confirm her name and plead guilty to charges of fraud and money laundering in a hearing at Southwark Crown Court yesterday.
She is no longer an employee of the bank, which is 41 per cent owned by the taxpayer.
An earlier hearing was told: “This lady was head of fraud and security for digital banking for Lloyds Banking Group.
“She abused her position to the extent of over £2.4million. Part of the proceeds were paid by her to her family to enable them to purchase property, and other monies were dissipated in a variety of ways for personal costs and use.
“This is a serious and complex fraud.”
Harper’s defence told the court that the her £70K-a-year client was in the process of selling her home in a bid to provide £700,000 in compensation, and had also sold shares and cashed in her pension to repay ‘significant sums of money’.
The judge bailed Harper, of South Croydon, Surrey, ahead of sentence on September 21, but warned he was ordering a pre-sentence report to assist as to the length of jail term she’ll receive.
Sue Patten, Head of the CPS Central Fraud Division, said: “Jessica Harper has today been convicted of the type of crime the bank employed her to combat.
“She submitted false invoices totalling more that £2.4million over a period of four years.”
Harper was given an electronically monitored curfew after having to hand in her passport.
PAYBACK: Harper is
selling home but faces a jail term