Woman faces jail over bank scam
A former Lloyds bank boss in charge of online security is facing jail for a £2.4 million fraud scam.
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.
Her four-year scam was uncovered after an internal review by Lloyds who called in police and Harper was arrested.
The 50-year-old stood in the dock at Southwark Crown Court, in London, and showed no emotion as she spoke quietly to plead guilty to the fraud.
Harper is believed to have earned around £70,000 a year, but embarked on a scam by submitting false invoices to claim payments to herself totalling £2,463,750. She was dismissed from her job in January this year after the scam was uncovered following an internal review by Lloyds.
Antony Swift, prosecuting said Harper's crimes were a "very simple fraud" and she admitted what she had done "within 10 minutes" of the first interview with police.
Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith bailed Harper on condition she does not apply for any international travel documents, lives at her home address and observes a night-time curfew.
Sue Patten, head of the Crown Prosecution Service, Central Fraud Division, said: "The evidence in the case was clear and left Harper with little choice but to plead guilty. In doing so, she has admitted to a huge breach of trust against her former employer.
"Harper was expected to safeguard the financial interests of the bank. Instead, she submitted false invoices totalling more that £2.4 million over a period of four years. She has also pleaded guilty to laundering the funds of the fraud."
Harper will be sentenced on September 21.