MLS & AssociationsNews Brief

New evidence released by Miami Beach Police in extortion, blackmail case

During a secretly recorded meeting, Tomlinson attempts extortion against the Jills
  • Tomlinson attempts $800,000 payout from the Jills in secretly recorded meeting
  • Miami community split among the high-profile dispute
  • Tomlinson was arrested August 8 two felony counts of extortion, resisting arrest and attempting to deprive an officer of protection

A piece of key evidence in the duel between Miami powerhouse agent Kevin Tomlinson and real estate powerhouse duo The Jills was unveiled today by the Miami Beach Police Department.

During a meeting between Jill Hertzberg and Tomlinson, Tomlinson was secretly recorded bribing The Jills after he had filed a complaint against them with the Miami Association of Realtors.

Tomlinson filed a complaint against The Jills in April, citing that they had altered MLS data on active listings. Tomlinson’s complaint of 51 instances of data alteration with the Miami Association of Realtors fueled a fire that he tried to extinguish by extorting the two for $250,000.

The recorded meeting took place after The Jills were told by police to invite Tomlinson to meet with the bait: a $400,000 check. During the recording of the meeting, Tomlinson threatens Hertzberg’s career if the duo doesn’t hand over $400,000 each.

The Jills recorded several phone calls with Tomlinson, during which he said he was on their side — but he still threatened to take information public if they did not cooperate.

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Tomlinson also looped in Teresa Kinney, the CEO of the Miami Association of Realtors. He was heard saying on the tape, “It doesn’t look good for her that her data was so easily screwed with and it doesn’t look good for her that her [top] producers are in this scuffle.”

Tomlinson was arrested August 8 on two felony counts of extortion, resisting arrest and attempting to deprive an officer of protection. He has pleaded “not guilty.”

The Miami real estate community is split on the controversy; some real estate agents who believe the allegations of changing MLS data have supported Tomlinson via a petition calling for the association to take action against the Jills.

Despite being fired from ONE Sotheby’s International Realty after the arrest, Calibre International Realty has since hired Tomlinson.

Email Kimberly Manning.