Banking Boss Admits £2 Million Invoice Fraud

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A former Lloyds bank boss in charge of online security has admitted a £2.4 million fraud.

Jessica Harper took the money over a four-year period while working as head of fraud and security for digital banking at Lloyds Banking Group.

Harper stood in the dock at Southwark Crown Court, in London, and admitted a single charge of fraud by abuse of position by submitting false invoices to claim payments totalling £2,463,750.

She also admitted a single charge of transferring criminal property, the money, which she had defrauded from her employers. The 50-year-old, from Croydon, south London, carried on the fraud between December 28 2007 and December 21 last year, the court heard. Antony Swift, prosecuting, did not open the facts of the case.

Carol Hawley, defending, said Harper was in the process of selling her £700,000 home to repay some of the stolen cash and was due to exchange contracts. She will be sentenced at a later date. Ms Hawley applied for bail for Harper but Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith deferred a decision until retiring to consider the matter.

Ms Hawley told the court:

“She appreciates the seriousness and has made full admissions in interview. She understands perfectly well on the next occasion she will be facing imprisonment of some length.”

“There are some matters to attend to, not least she is in the process of taking steps to repay significant sums of the money that has been taken and has already cashed in her pension and various other shares.”

“More significant is her property, on the market – exchange in relation to that property is due to take place today. Completion will be in the period of seven to 10 days. As a result of that she will be able to offer something in the order of £700,000.”


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