South Beach Realtor Kevin Tomlinson avoided prison time after being found guilty on extortion charges in June for allegedly demanding $800,000 from rivals Jill Hertzberg and Jill Eber, a high profile luxury real estate duo known as “The Jills.”

Judge Milton Hirsch sentenced Tomlinson to two years of house arrest, 15 years probation and is barring him from working in real estate or tweeting about The Jills, according to Miami Herald reporter David Ovalle, who attended the sentencing.

The Jills success in the Miami market drew suspicion from rivals like Tomlinson, so in April 2015, Tomlinson filed a complaint with the Miami Association of Realtors, alleging that The Jills had been manipulating data on the multiple listing service (MLS).

Tomlinson’s complaint alleged that The Jills hid properties that had been on the market for more than six months – making it appear as thought their sales track record was more impressive than it really was, according to a report in the Miami Herald. It also prevented other brokers like Tomlinson from seeing potential clients whose listings otherwise would have been expiring in the MLS.

The Jills. (Photo courtesy Coldwell Banker)

Tomlinson reportedly confronted the Jills and tried to shake them down for $800,000, by threatening to take the MLS complaint public. The conversations were secretly recorded by police. Tomlinson’s defense claimed the money was an attempt at settling before a potential lawsuit, according to the Miami Herald report.

“The Jills each testified that they have been traumatized by Tomlinson’s threats to ruin their reputation,” according to Ovalle.

Eber reportedly told the judge that, “Extorting the Jills was [Tomlinson’s] business plan,” according to Ovalle.

A jury found Tomlinson guilty of extortion on June 22.


Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription