Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Brooklyn preacher known as ‘Bling Bishop’ convicted for using $90,000 from church members’ savings to buy fancy stuff

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A well-dressed pastor from Brooklyn got convicted in federal court for mishandling a church member’s retirement savings and trying to squeeze money from a businessman. This pastor, Lamor Whitehead, known as the “Bling Bishop,” leads the Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries. He got found guilty on five charges, like tricking people with wires, trying to extort money, and lying to the FBI. These charges are because of three different schemes.

Whitehead, famous for his fancy clothes and flashy jewelry, made news in 2022 when he claimed he and his wife got robbed of $1 million worth of jewelry at their church.

“Lamor Whitehead betrayed the trust given to him by a church member, tried to get a fake loan using fake bank papers, pressured a businessman for $5,000, tried to trick him into giving much more, and lied to the feds,” said US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams.

“Whitehead’s terrible lies and bad actions have caught up with him. Now, he’s been convicted of five crimes and might go to jail,” Williams added.

Whitehead also pushed a businessman for $5,000 and then tried to make the guy lend him $500,000 and share real estate deals in return for favors from the New York City government, which he couldn’t deliver, according to the charges.

He used his connection with Mayor Eric Adams to try to seal the deal, the district attorney’s office mentioned.

“The defendant knew he couldn’t get favors from the city government, as the U.S. Attorney’s office pointed out when they brought this case. This verdict proves that,” said Charles Kretchmer Lutvak, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office.

Whitehead also lied to FBI agents by saying he only had one phone, when he actually had two, according to the charges.

Each charge could mean up to 20 years in prison, except for the lying one, which could mean up to 5 years, according to the district attorney’s office.

One of Whitehead’s lawyers, Dawn Florio, said they’ll appeal the verdict. His sentencing is set for July 1, she added.

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