Ex-Lloyds Bank online security chief admits fraud

Jessica Harper pleads guilty to £2.4 million fraud and could face up to 10 years in prison.

Hacking

The former head of online security at Lloyds Bank has pleaded guilty to defrauding the financial institution by more than 2.4 million.

Jessica Harper, the former head of fraud and security for digital banking at Lloyds, has been accused of submitting false invoices to claim back payments totalling 2,463,750 between 2007 and 2011.

According to a report in the Financial Times, no customers were affected by the fraud, which was picked up by the bank and reported to police.

Harper appeared at Southwark Crown Court yesterday and will be sentenced on 21 September. She could face up to 10 years in prison.

During yesterday's court appearance, she admitted abusing her position to carry out fraud and pleaded guilty to money laundering.

Prosecutor Anthony Swift said Harper has already repaid 300,000 and was in the throes of raising a further 700,000 by selling her house.

"That will be some 1m out of 2.5m that's gone missing," Swift told the judge.

Sue Patten, head of the Crown Prosecution Service's anti-fraud unit, added: "Jessica Harper has been convicted of the type of crime the bank employed her to combat.

"The evidence in the case was clear and left Harper with little choice but to plead guilty."

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