A former Lloyds anti-fraud boss has been given a five year prison term for her involvement in a £2.4m false invoicing scam while at the bank.
Jessica Harper pleaded guilty to the charge of fraud and of transferring criminal property in August but the former head of fraud and security for digital banking, who was on a salary of £60,000 at the time, defended her actions, saying: 'I saw the opportunity and thought: "Given the hours I work I deserve it".
'If I went to work for another company I would probably be earning four times as much.'
Sentencing her at Croydon Crown Court, judge Deborah Taylor told her: 'You were a senior employee in the bank in a position with a high degree of trust at a time when Lloyds was substantially supported by a lot of taxpayers' money following difficulties sustained by the bank in the financial crisis.
'You disregarded your duties out of a sense of entitlement to take other people's money for your own benefit and that of your family.'
Harper took the money over a four-year period between December 2007 and December 2011, but it only came to light during an internal investigation at the part-nationalised bank. Harper has since sold her £700,000 home to repay some of the stolen cash having already cashed in her pension and various other shares.