Lloyds' former head of fraud and security for digital banking has received a nine-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to stealing £2.4 million from the UK banking group.
Jessica Harper was arrested in December last year following an investigation by the bank which discovered that she had forged and authorised fake invoices made out to her personal banking account over a four-year period dating back to 2007. The 50-year old former employee used the looted cash to fund extravagant shopping sprees and her social life.
Harper was charged with one count of fraud by abuse of position, and a further count of money laundering. She pleaded guilty to both at Southwark Crown Court on 27 August 2012.
To date Harper has repaid £376,365.52 with a further estimated £330,000 to come from the sale of property.
Detective Chief Inspector Robin Cross, of the MPS's Fraud Squad, says the police are seeking further assets for confiscation with a view to obtaining the oustanding sum.
"This should serve as a warning to any bank employee that the Met will thoroughly investigate such frauds, which rarely remain undiscovered," he says. "Jessica Harper has destroyed her own reputation and the sentence reflects the seriousness of the offence."
Harper was jailed for five years for fraud and four years for money laundering - sentences to run concurrently.