Kevin Tomlinson was once known as one of the top condominium realtors in Miami, where multimillion dollar properties are bought and sold on a regular basis. He is today facing a lengthy prison sentence for an alleged extortion plot targeting two fellow Miami realtors. Anyone facing the same or similar charges will require a defense effort that can only be provided by a Miami extortion lawyer. Kenneth P. Hassett, a member of the criminal defense law firm of Hassett and Associates, has expertise in these types of cases and is available to help those who find themselves in such situations.
Tomlinson, the 48-year-old vice president of Sotheby’s International Realty, was known as a no-nonsense expert who was dedicated to telling his clients the truth. Police have a different impression of him, however, alleging that he tried to wrangle nearly $1 million from the famous realty partners Jill Eber and Jill Hertzberg, better known as “the Jills.”
The plot began this past April, the month that Tomlinson filed an ethics violation against the Jills. He was charging them with manipulating online listings for the purpose of whitewashing the sales of certain properties. In July, he threatened to make the allegation public unless they paid him half a million dollars, or $250,000 from each Jill.
In a subsequent meeting with Hertzberg, Tomlinson increased the demand to $800,000. The second meeting turned out to be a sting operation that involved the local police. Tomlinson was subsequently arrested at his penthouse, although he reportedly wrestled with officers before being taken into custody. He is currently free on bond and awaiting trial.
Extortion can involve an attempt to obtain cash or other valuable items or, in the case involving Tomlinson, the threat to harm a person’s reputation through the release of sensitive information. In Florida, the crime is considered a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years behind bars.
A Miami extortion lawyer will help develop a defense strategy that may involve challenging the original charges or the way the case was handled by police. An attorney may argue the case before a jury or, if necessary, will accept a plea bargain that can lead to a reduced penalty. A lawyer can be the best advocate for anyone charged with extortion or any crime. If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, contact the law firm of Hassett and Associates or visit its website at www.criminallawyermiami.com.