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Ex-Lloyds Digital Security Chief Admits $3.76 Million Fraud

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Former Lloyds Digital Security Chief Admits $3.76 Million Fraud
The Lloyds Banking Group Plc company logo sits on the bank's headquarters in London. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Aug. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s former head of digital banking fraud and security pleaded guilty to submitting false invoices totaling more than 2.4 million pounds ($3.76 million).

Jessica Harper admitted to one count of fraud by abuse of position and one count of money laundering at a court in London, the Crown Prosecution Service said in a statement.

The fraud at the U.K’s second-biggest state-backed lender is another blow to London’s reputation as a financial center, which has been tarnished by separate revelations that banks rigged the London Interbank Offered Rate and sold inappropriate derivatives to small business customers.

Harper has been “convicted of the type of crime the bank employed her to combat,” said Sue Patten, head of the CPS Central Fraud Division. “She has admitted to a huge breach of trust against her former employer.”

Harper admitted to submitting fake invoices between 2007 and 2011 and then laundering the proceeds, the CPS said. She will be sentenced on Sept. 21, and faces as long as 24 years in prison for the two charges, a CPS spokesman said, although she will get credit for the guilty plea.

Ian Kitts, a Lloyds spokesman, declined to comment. Harper’s lawyer, Emma Lipscombe, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail requesting comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London at cchellel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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