Miami Beach broker found guilty of extorting rival realtors

Case of real estate drama ends with conviction of Kevin Tomlinson

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A Miami Beach broker was found guilty Friday of extortion against two colleagues known in South Florida's luxury real estate market as "The Jills."

The Miami Herald reporter David Ovalle was in the courtroom when the jury rendered its guilty verdict against Kevin Tomlinson and wrote the week-long trial "offered a window into the intense rivalries in the cutthroat world."

Tomlinson filed a complaint with the Miami Association of Realtors in 2015 against Jill Hertzberg and Jill Eber, agents better known as "The Jills." Tomlinson argued the women had been manipulating data on real estate property services to better their performance record.

However, during the trial it was revealed Tomlinson had demanded $250,000 from each of the women, saying he would ruin their career if he wasn't paid.

According to the Herald's report, Hertzberg and Eber admitted they had falsified data, but claimed it was their associate and not themselves who hid properties that had been on the market for longer than six months.

Tomlinson will remain in jail before sentencing later this year. In a statement, The Jills said they were pleased with the jury's determination after getting the compelling evidence in this case. 

"This has been a very difficult time for us, and our families, and we look forward to putting this chapter behind us," the statement said.