Judge warns she faces a jail term

Midweek Sport - - FRONT PAGE - By JON LIVESEY

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.