Ex bank security head charged with fraud

City of London headquarters of Lloyds Banking Group in Gresham Street. Photo: Lloyds Banking Group.

The Crown Prosecution Service have announced that Jessica Harper, 50, the former Lloyds Banking Group
head of digital banking fraud and security, who lives in Croydon, has herself been charged with defrauding her employer of over £2.4 million.

Andrew Penhale, Deputy Head of the CPS Central Fraud Group, said: “We have authorised the Metropolitan Police Service to charge Jessica Harper, with one count of fraud by abuse of position, contrary to section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006.”

He added: “The charge relates to an allegation that between 1 September 2008 and 21 December 2011, 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.

CPS announcement of charge against Jessica Harper, the former Lloyds Banking Group head of digital banking fraud and security

He said the decision to prosecute was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and that they “have determined that there is a realistic prospect of conviction and a prosecution is in the public interest.”

Harper is due to appear before Westminster Magistrates Court in Marylebone on May 31 2012.

The CPS has urged the media to recognise that as Jessica Harper now stands charged with a criminal offence, she has the right to a fair trial:  “It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice this trial.”

The decision to charge Harper has generated widespread media coverage in the national press and broadcasting.

It is being reported that she was arrested by the officers from the Metropolitan Police fraud squad at the end of last year.

The Central Fraud Division (CFD) employs around 50 prosecutors, 70 caseworkers and 30 support staff and was set up in April 2010 to provide a specialist prosecution and advisory service for complex, sensitive and high value fraud cases throughout England and Wales and for all fiscal fraud and export control cases Investigated by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Harper is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court in Marylebone on May 31

The CFD says it works “with a range of law enforcement bodies to maximise their impact on criminals who are constantly finding new ways to profit from defrauding individuals, businesses and the taxpayer.”

Additional reporting by Alex Bishop.

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