UPDATED, Feb. 7, 3:56 p.m.: The former Miami real estate agent sentenced to probation for extorting Coldwell Banker’s top-producing team, known as “The Jills,” is now going to jail.
A judge sentenced Kevin Tomlinson on Thursday to just under a year, for violating his probation by posting about the duo on social media and failing to pay court costs.
A jury convicted Tomlinson in June on two counts of extorting Jill Eber and Jill Hertzberg — the top-producing Coldwell Banker broker team in Miami Beach — for his demand that the duo pay $800,000 in exchange for his silence about their having manipulated the Multiple Listing Service.
Tomlinson, who at times broke down during his hearing and testimony, asked the judge to give him another opportunity and for compassion.
“I realize that I have responsibilities and I want to take full responsibility for my actions,” he said. “With the convergence of everything that’s happened in my life, I would have to say that this would be hard on anybody,” Tomlinson said. Later, he added, “I actually looked forward to the new life I had.”
Tomlinson acknowledged that he posted about Hertzberg and Eber on social media, but asked “where do you separate the data fraud from the extortion?”
In August he was ordered to wear an ankle monitor for two years; and was sentenced to another 15 years of probation. He was also banned from working in the real estate industry, from contacting Hertzberg and Eber, and from blogging or writing about them on social media.
Tomlinson violated his probation in November, by leaving his Miami Beach apartment without prior approval, not paying his court costs and posting about the Jills on Facebook. He was arrested on Dec. 18, which is when he said he was on his way to pay his $518 court bills.
Judge Milton Hirsch of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court sent Tomlinson to Miami-Dade County Jail. The sentence of less than a year allows Tomlinson to avoid state prison. The judge said he didn’t consider the state attorney’s recommendation of six months adequate.
Hertzberg’s husband, attorney Robert Hertzberg, attended the hearing but declined to provide a statement to the court.
Throughout the hearing, Tomlinson’s attorney, John Bergendahl, brought up his client’s psychiatric and psychological issues. He said he client admitted himself voluntarily to Mt. Sinai Medical Center for psychiatric treatment. Tomlinson spoke of his long-term anxiety and depression, adding that his father died while he was in jail this past summer.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Jill Hertzberg attended the hearing.