Ex-Lloyds Bank online security chief admits fraud


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."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.