“I’m an embarrassment”: Ex-judge sentenced for mortgage fraud

Jessica Arong O’Brien, also a former real estate agent, lied to lenders to obtain more than $1.4M in mortgages on 2 homes

Chicago /
Dec.December 21, 2018 09:00 AM

Jessica Arong O’Brien (Credit: Twitter and iStock)

Former Cook County Judge — and real estate agent — Jessica Arong O’Brien was sentenced to a year in prison for mortgage fraud, stemming from the purchase of two South Side homes.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin handed down the sentence Thursday for O’Brien’s role in a scheme to defraud lenders in the home when she was a lawyer and real estate agent 11 years ago, according to the Chicago Tribune.

O’Brien was convicted of lying to lenders to obtain more than $1.4 million in mortgages on two homes she bought and sold between 2004 and 2007. Prosecutors she made at least $325,000 when she sold the homes by paying kickbacks to a straw purchaser.

The straw purchaser later defaulted on payments and the homes wound up in foreclosure, prosecutors said.

Durkin’s sentence came after an emotional speech by O’Brien, who talked about “falling on her sword” for her “stupidity.”

“I’m an embarrassment,” she said.

O’Brien was convicted of fraud in February. She resigned from the bench this year after being placed on administrative duties in 2017 following the indictment. [Chicago Tribune] — John O’Brien

 

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