‘Bling Bishop’ Lamor Whitehead found guilty of federal fraud, extortion charges

A Brooklyn pastor known for his flashy wardrobe and close ties to Mayor Eric Adams was found guilty of wire fraud, attempted extortion and lying to the FBI in Manhattan Federal Court on Monday.

After just a few hours of deliberation, the jury convicted “Bling Bishop” Lamor Whitehead, 46, of five counts, agreeing that he had used his position of power and influence to swindle hundreds of thousands of dollars from people who trusted him.

Whitehead could face up to 45 years in prison.

During the trial, prosecutors alleged that Whitehead had deceived a parishioner’s mother into giving him $90,000 from her retirement savings, after he promised he’d buy her a house and remodel it so that she could move in. He never bought her the house, and instead used the money to fund his lavish lifestyle, court documents show.

Prosecutors also made the case that Whitehead convinced a Bronx businessman to give him $5,000, then an additional $500,000, on false promises that he’d get favorable treatment from Adams as a result. Adams has acknowledged his association with Whitehead in the past but has never been accused of participating in his schemes.

Whitehead also lied to bank lenders about his net worth to secure a loan, and lied to the FBI once the investigation began – saying he had one phone when he really had two, prosecutors charged.

Dawn Florio, Whitehead’s lawyer, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the hours after the verdict, Whitehead took to social media — first posting an emotive video of himself speaking at his church’s pulpit with the caption “My process … God Still Loves Me” on Instagram.

He posted again on Tuesday morning, writing, “The Story Isn’t Over … Stay Tuned For This New Chapter Called … Truth And Vindication!”

Whitehead was initially arrested in December 2022, not long after making headlines when a group robbed him at gunpoint while he was delivering a sermon at his church in Canarsie.

The robbery was captured on a livestream and footage of the incident went viral. According to the NYPD, the robbers stole more than $1 million worth of jewelry from the pastor and his wife.

Two men pleaded guilty to federal robbery charges last year and a third was killed in a shootout with law enforcement while they attempted to apprehend him in New Jersey.

Whitehead will be sentenced on July 1.

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