Illinois judge convicted of fraud no longer on the bench, state high court says

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Jessica Arong O’Brien.

Jessica Arong O’Brien, convicted of mortgage fraud in February, is no longer a judge in Cook County, Illinois, the state supreme court has concluded.

An announcement said O’Brien told the Illinois Supreme Court on Feb. 21 that she would resign if post-trial motions for acquittal or a new trial were denied. A federal judge denied those motions on Sept. 4, making O’Brien’s resignation effective on that date, the court said.

The Chicago Sun-Times and the Cook County Record have coverage.

O’Brien had dropped her bid for retention in a November election on Sept. 5, but did not announce a resignation at that time. She has been performing administrative duties since being indicted in April 2017.

O’Brien’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, told the Sun-Times that O’Brien has sent in resignation paperwork “as she said she would.”

O’Brien was convicted of mail and bank fraud in a $1.4 million mortgage fraud scheme from 2004 to 2007 involving two straw buyers of investment properties who later defaulted on payments. During that time, O’Brien owned a real estate company, worked part-time as a loan originator with another real estate company and was a lawyer with the Illinois Department of Revenue.

O’Brien’s law license had been placed on interim suspension in April. The Illinois Courts Commission was reviewing O’Brien’s case and had scheduled a hearing for Sept. 24. O’Brien’s sentencing hearing in the criminal case is Oct. 9.

Recasts headline at 8:38 a.m.

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