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Illinois judge convicted of fraud, illegally pocketing $300K

CHICAGO — A federal jury in Chicago has convicted a Cook County judge of fraudulently obtaining mortgages for Chicago investment properties and illegally pocketing more than $300,000.

The conviction of Judge Jessica O’Brien on Thursday after a six-day trial should force her off the bench under Illinois law. The law applies even though the schemes occurred before she became a judge.

Prosecutors say the 50-year-old O’Brien lied to lenders and concealed facts to obtain more than $1.4 million in mortgages. They were obtained for properties she purchased and sold.

Defense attorney Ricardo Meza told jurors earlier that his client made mistakes that weren’t intentional, and thus were not fraud.

O’Brien could face years in prison for the mail and bank fraud convictions, while probation is also an option. Sentencing is July 6.

–Associated Press

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