Cook County’s first Filipino-American Judge Jessica Arong O’Brien has been sentenced to one year in prison on December 20 for federal fraud charges.
The Philippine-born O’Brien was found guilty earlier this year of pocketing over $300,000 in a $1.4-million mortgage fraud scheme that took place more than a decade ago.
A tearful Jessica Arong O’Brien called herself an embarrassment and admitted her guilt prior to be sentenced.
“I should have known better,” she told U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin. O’Brien repeatedly described herself as “stupid,” saying her family “is forever marred from this.”
“Obviously, you’re in great pain,” Judge Durkin told O’Brien. “You lived a good life helping others,” Durkin said according to Sun Times, “and that has to count for something.”
The 51-year old O’Brien is married to Cook County Judge Brendan O’Brien.
O’Brien migrated to the US from Cebu, Philippines as a struggling teenager, put herself to school and became a judge in 2012.