Maureen OConnor

How do you win more than $1 BILLION gambling, but still manage to be strapped for cash?  When you lose even more than that.  Now, a former San Diego mayor is facing prosecution after allegedly stealing from charities to feed her gambling habit.

FOX News Radio's Jessica Rosenthal has details from Southern California:

For 10 years starting in 2000, Maureen O'Connor won more than $1 billion gambling, but ended up losing more than she won.  In late 2008, Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip Halpern says she began stealing from a charity of her late husband, who was the founder of the Jack-in-the-Box fast-food chain.  Halpern says she took over $2 million.

(Halpern) "Some of the recipients of the charitable foundation's funding was the City of Hope, the Alzheimer's Association, Little Wishes Foundation, the San Diego Hospice."

He says they started investigating in 2010, but deferred prosecution because O'Connor had a large brain tumor that was recently removed.  The frail ex-mayor in court agreed to repay the charity and get help for a gambling addiction.

Jessica Rosenthal, FOX News Radio.

Editor's Note: Prosecutors have agreed to further defer prosecution if O'Connor pays back the money within two years.