Illinois judge convicted of fraud resigns from bench

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An Illinois judge who was convicted of fraud is stepping down from the bench.

The attorney for Cook County Circuit Judge Jessica O’Brien said Wednesday she had signed the necessary paperwork to end her judicial career.

O’Brien was convicted of fraudulently obtaining mortgages for Chicago investment properties and illegally pocketing more than $300,000. 

The court heard between 2004 and 2007, before she became a judge, O’Brien had lied to lenders in order to be approved for $1.4million in loans. 

Of this, she kept $325,000 for herself, Patch reported.

The property was finally purchased through a straw buyer, who flipped and testified against her. 

While O’Brien was in the midst of the scheme, she was employed at the Illinois Department of Revenue, as a loan officer for a mortgage company, and owned her own real estate company, the court heard.

US District Judge Thomas M Durkin last week denied several motions made by her lawyers seeking an acquittal or a new trial.

Steve Greenberg said his client had always said she would resign if her post-trial motions were denied.

After Durkin’s decision, O’Brien filed notice to end her retention bid with the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office. 

She said she was bowing out of the race ‘in light of the federal court’s ruling in my case.’ 

O’Brien had been on the bench since 2012, and was the first Filipina judge to be elected in the county.

She is married to fellow Cook County judge Alan O’Brien, who is not accused of any wrongdoing.

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