‘Bling Bishop’ in Jail Garb as Sentence is Handed Down for Retirement Fund Theft

'Bling Bishop' in Jail Garb as Sentence is Handed Down for Retirement Fund Theft

Lamor Whitehead dubbed the “Bling Bishop,” has been placed on ice for a considerable amount of time.

The well-known, ostentatious Brooklyn pastor, who reportedly boasted that Mayor Eric Adams was his mentor, was given a nine-year prison sentence on Monday after a jury found him guilty of stealing the retirement fund of a parishioner’s mother among other offenses.

Known for his extravagant jewelry, fancy outfits, and Rolls Royce, the convicted fraudster appeared in Manhattan federal court wearing muted tan jail garb and ramblingly expressed his “remorse” for his victims.

However, Whitehead refused to own up to his deception of them, and the judge rejected his admission of guilt.

Judge Lorna Schofield informed Whitehead, “I don’t see any remorse for your conduct,” before deciding on his sentence.

“You don’t seem to understand the consequences of your crimes or, to some extent, the truth.”

At Canarsie’s Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries, Whitehead, 45, was found guilty in March of defrauding Pauline Anderson, 58, a nurse and the mother of one of his flock, out of $90,000 that she had given him to invest in a house he had promised to buy and renovate.

Prosecutors claimed that instead, the extravagant pastor—dubbed the “bling bishop”—blew the money on luxuries for himself, such as Louis Vuitton purchases and BMW automobile payments.

Speaking to the court on Monday, Anderson broke down in tears as she described the terrible toll Whitehead’s crime had taken on her, saying it had depleted all of her retirement savings.

Whitehead “broke my soul, my spirit, and my heart,” the woman remarked.

The colorful pastor was well-known for donning extravagant jewelry and fine outfits. Rasheed, 30, a son of Paul Martinka Anderson, said that the theft by the convicted con artist had a “devastating impact” on his family.

In court, he stated, “I was used and taken advantage of, and because of that, I have to see my mother suffer every day.”

In addition, Whitehead was found guilty of attempting to blackmail a car body shop owner by using his purported connections to the mayor to obtain a $500,000 loan in exchange for Hizzoner’s “official favors.”

Additionally, he was found guilty of lying to a bank to obtain a $250,000 loan and lying to FBI investigators during their raid on his house in New Jersey.

Prosecutors claimed that Whitehead was aware at the time that he would not be able to get the favors he had promised. In this situation, Adams has not been charged with any crimes.

'Bling Bishop' in Jail Garb as Sentence is Handed Down for Retirement Fund Theft (1)
Image: Yahoo News Singapore

Whitehead took from more than just gullible parishioners and anonymous financial organizations. He also took from other accused criminals. In a pre-sentence court brief, the Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams’ office prosecutors said that “he stole from all of them.”

The reason Whitehead attracted attention from the public and gained admirers was due to his ostentatious, opulent lifestyle, which included a lavish house, a Rolls-Royce, and pricey suits. His crimes also provided the funding for all of those goods, according to the feds.

Whitehead spoke for almost 20 minutes on Monday from a podium built up in the courtroom, with his feet chained together and court marshals watching. He insisted on his innocence and referred to himself as a “pillar of the community.”


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“In terms of regret, I feel a great deal of regret,” he declared. “I detest seeing people harmed.”

Whitehead had already been convicted of identity theft and served five years in jail.

The deceased bishop mentioned several local and state representatives that he said he had collaborated with on Thanksgiving turkey distribution and youth mentoring initiatives in the past, including Adams, state Attorney General Letitia James, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, and NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey and Chief of Patrol John Chell.

Adams responded to a question regarding the sentencing at a separate press conference by saying, “Bishop Whitehead is in my prayers, and I wish the best for him.” However, none of those officials were present in court.

Dawn Florio, Whitehead’s lawyer, requested that the judge sentence Whitehead to supervised release.

The officials claimed that Whitehead’s ostentatious lifestyle was “funded by his crimes.” Paul Martinka
Schofield did point out a history of “crimes of dishonesty,” though.

According to officials, Whitehead had already served five years in jail before to founding his church in 2013. He had been found guilty of a different $2 million identity theft scheme, which entailed taking out credit lines in other people’s names to purchase luxury cars.

The pastor’s story went viral in July 2022 when, while giving a live-streamed sermon, he and his wife were robbed at gunpoint. According to his attorney Florio, Whitehead is probably experiencing “post-traumatic stress disorder” as a result of the incident.

After concluding that Whitehead’s attempted extortion conviction constituted a “crime of violence” necessitating his incarceration, the judge locked him up in May.

In an April 30 live-streamed service, Whitehead allegedly displayed private case documents and attempted to frighten Pauline Anderson by using a Bible psalm.

According to the feds, Whitehead allegedly said, “Touch not my anointed,” at the moment, citing Psalms 105.

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