Former Lloyds Banking online security head jailed for fraud

A former Lloyds Banking Group head of online security who stole millions from her employer at a time when it had to be bailed out by the taxpayer was sentenced to a five-year jail term yesterday.

The court heard how Jessica Harper, 50, fraudulently helped herself to nearly £2.5 million from the bank over four years from 2007 when she served as head of fraud and security for digital banking. Harper, of South Croydon, Surrey, admitted to committing fraud abusing her position and transferring criminal property defrauded from her employers.

She told the police she believed she deserved the money, given the hours she worked, rising at 5.30 am and returning home at 8 pm.

Harper submitted 93 bogus invoices over four years receiving the payments into an account she set up.

She gave much of the money to her three brothers to buy rental properties, who believed she was drawing far more than the £60,000 a year she got as interim head of fraud and security for digital banking and assumed she was being generous.

She said, "If I went to work for another company I would probably be earning four times as much."