William Freeborn pleaded guilty to two charges for actions during his time as the Executive Director of the Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank.
Freeborn is a former Wilmington City Councilman and a Director of the state Division of Corporations.
The Land Bank partners on redevelopment projects in city neighborhoods.
Freeborn, 67, pleaded guilty Tuesday to Official Misconduct and Theft for knowingly accepting at least $28,000 in unauthorized cash deposits for properties that 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 email@example.com or (302) 577-5400.
“If you abuse the public’s trust we will hold you accountable,” said Attorney General Kathy 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.”
Land Bank staff and Board Members recognized financial irregularities and contacted the Delaware Department of Justice.