Ex-Lloyds head of online security faces £2.5m fraud charge

28 May 2012

The former head of fraud and security for digital banking at Lloyds Banking Group, Jessica Harper, has been charged with an alleged £2.46 million fraud.

According to the UK Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Harper, a 50-year-old from Croydon, south London, is accused of submitting false invoices to claim payments worth £2,463,750 between September 2008 and December 2011.

Harper will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 31 May charged with one count of fraud by abuse of position. Lloyds’, which is now 40% state-owned after being bailed out by the government during the financial crisis, refused to comment on the charging of Ms Harper. A Metropolitan Police spokesman said she was originally arrested on 21 December 2011 by officers from its fraud squad.

"Jessica Harper dishonestly and with the intention of making a gain for herself, abused her position as an employee of Lloyds Banking Group, in which she was expected to safeguard the financial interests of Lloyds Banking Group, by submitting false invoices to claim payments totalling £2,463,750.88, to which she was not entitled,” said Andrew Penhale from the CPS Central Fraud Group. "This decision to [now] prosecute was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors [as] we have determined that there is a realistic prospect of conviction and a prosecution is in the public interest."

By Neil Ainger

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