Jessica Harper Jailed Over £2.4m Fraud

Last month, Jessica Harper, a former senior manager at Lloyds bank admitted defrauding the bank of £2.4m, by submitting 93 false and doctored invoices to claim fabricated expenses.

Harper committed the fraud between 2007 and 2011, while she was in charge of fraud and security for digital banking. The fraudulent claims were uncovered after an internal investigation at Lloyds which was then reported to the Metropolitan Police. This lead to Harper’s arrested by the Scotland Yard’s economic and specialist crime unit and on May 24, Harper was charged with a single count of fraud by abuse of position and sentenced to five years in jail.

During the investigations Harper told police officers that she “saw an opportunity”.

The court case comes at a sensitive time for Lloyds, which is 40 per cent state owned after the injection of £20bn of rescue funds during the financial crisis.

Harper’s case yet again highlights the importance of ensuring that robust and transparent expense management and finance systems are in place to detect and prevent expenses and procurement fraud.