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SAN DIEGO COUNTY DIGEST

Fallbrook

May 14, 1987

A Fallbrook real estate broker convicted of defrauding two widows was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in a work furlough program and ordered to pay $56,559 in restitution.

John Freeman, 62, has already paid $64,000 to the two women stemming from their losses in trust deed investments with him.

Freeman was placed on five years' probation by San Diego Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Zumwalt, who set a review hearing for Sept. 15 to monitor his repayment progress.

Freeman was convicted of two counts of grand theft Oct. 7, and his sentencing was delayed to give him more time to repay the widows.

He will report to the work furlough center June 1 and will do community service work during the day and be locked up at night.

Afterward, one victim, Jeannette Motta, 51, of Fallbrook, said she was "very disappointed" with the sentence.

"He's getting off very easy. I just want other people protected, especially widows," said Motta. "With such a short sentence, I don't know if it will deter."

In court, Motta told the judge she doubted Freeman's remorse, saying that the broker waited until after he was convicted to begin repaying her.

The other victim was Alla Robinson, 69, a former Justice Court clerk in Fallbrook.

One of the conditions of probation is that Freeman is not to engage in investment transactions. He will lose his broker's license because of his conviction, his attorney said.

The judge also ordered Freeman to reveal the source of the money he uses to pay the two women back.

He could have received four years and eight months in state prison.

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