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DCRPT Secures Convictions Against Former Land Bank Director

Department of Justice | Department of Justice Press Releases | News | Date Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2022



The Delaware Department of Justice’s Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust (DCRPT) has secured two convictions against William Freeborn, the former Executive Director of the Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank (WNCLB).

“If you abuse the public’s trust we will hold you accountable,” said Attorney General Jennings. “The defendant used a position of public confidence to unethically and illegally secure thousands of dollars for his personal benefit. His acceptance of responsibility will bring closure and compensation to his victims, bans him from managing the public’s money, and requires him to volunteer for the people of Wilmington as part of his probation. Nobody should be beneath justice, and nobody should be above the law.”

Freeborn, 67, pleaded guilty Tuesday to Official Misconduct and Theft after confessing to knowingly accepting at least $28,000 in unauthorized cash deposits for properties that, despite his misrepresentations, did not yet belong to the Land Bank. Under the plea, Freeborn:

  • made restitution of the misappropriated $28,000, and stipulated to a mechanism for forthcoming claims;
  • agreed never again to hold a position of control over the finances of any nonprofit or government agency/program;
  • may have no contact with the WNCLB, the Wilmington Housing Authority, or the membership/employees of either enterprise;
  • must complete 50 hours of community service to the City of Wilmington; and
  • will serve one year of probation, in addition to a suspended one-year prison sentence

For a period of 90 days, additional claimants may submit documentation, under penalty of perjury, to DCRPT for restitution at publictrust@delaware.gov or (302) 577-5400.

DCRPT became aware of Freeborn’s conduct after WNCLB staff and Board Members recognized financial irregularities and contacted the DOJ. DCRPT Director Mark Denney secured Freeborn’s plea.

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DCRPT Secures Convictions Against Former Land Bank Director

Department of Justice | Department of Justice Press Releases | News | Date Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2022



The Delaware Department of Justice’s Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust (DCRPT) has secured two convictions against William Freeborn, the former Executive Director of the Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank (WNCLB).

“If you abuse the public’s trust we will hold you accountable,” said Attorney General Jennings. “The defendant used a position of public confidence to unethically and illegally secure thousands of dollars for his personal benefit. His acceptance of responsibility will bring closure and compensation to his victims, bans him from managing the public’s money, and requires him to volunteer for the people of Wilmington as part of his probation. Nobody should be beneath justice, and nobody should be above the law.”

Freeborn, 67, pleaded guilty Tuesday to Official Misconduct and Theft after confessing to knowingly accepting at least $28,000 in unauthorized cash deposits for properties that, despite his misrepresentations, did not yet belong to the Land Bank. Under the plea, Freeborn:

  • made restitution of the misappropriated $28,000, and stipulated to a mechanism for forthcoming claims;
  • agreed never again to hold a position of control over the finances of any nonprofit or government agency/program;
  • may have no contact with the WNCLB, the Wilmington Housing Authority, or the membership/employees of either enterprise;
  • must complete 50 hours of community service to the City of Wilmington; and
  • will serve one year of probation, in addition to a suspended one-year prison sentence

For a period of 90 days, additional claimants may submit documentation, under penalty of perjury, to DCRPT for restitution at publictrust@delaware.gov or (302) 577-5400.

DCRPT became aware of Freeborn’s conduct after WNCLB staff and Board Members recognized financial irregularities and contacted the DOJ. DCRPT Director Mark Denney secured Freeborn’s plea.

image_printPrint


Graphic that represents delaware news on a mobile phone

Keep up to date by receiving a daily digest email, around noon, of current news release posts from state agencies on news.delaware.gov.

Here you can subscribe to future news updates.