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Cook County judge charged with federal mail and bank fraud

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CHICAGO (AP) _ Federal mail and bank fraud charges have been filed against an Illinois judge in connection with an alleged mortgage fraud scheme.

Judge Jessica A. O’Brien was accused Wednesday of lying and concealing relevant facts from lenders to obtain more than $1.4 million in mortgages. The mortgages were obtained for Chicago investment properties she purchased and sold between 2004 and 2007.

Also charged with fraud is 49-year-old Maria Bartko, who purchased property from O’Brien to fraudulently obtain mortgage loans.

A spokesman for Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans says O’Brien was reassigned to non-judicial duties. An executive committee of Evans and 17 other judges will meet next week to decide whether O’Brien will be removed from the bench.

It wasn’t immediately known if O’Brien or Bartko have legal representation.