‘Flashy’ Bishop Who Made Headlines After $1M Jewelry Heist Sentenced To 9 Years

According to the BBC, Lamor Whitehead, a New York pastor known as the “Bling Bishop” due to his extravagant lifestyle, was sentenced to nine years in jail on Monday for defrauding one of his followers.

Prosecutors alleged that Whitehead, 45, used his position as a religious leader to defraud people and fund his extravagant lifestyle. According to the BBC, he was convicted in March of wire fraud, attempted wire fraud, extortion, and providing false statements to federal authorities.

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, branded Whitehead as a “con man” and said the sentence put an end to his “various schemes”.

“Lamor Whitehead is a con man who stole millions of dollars in a string of financial frauds and even stole from one of his own parishioners,” according to USA Today. “He lied to federal authorities and then to the court during his trial. Today’s sentencing brings an end to Whitehead’s many schemes and demonstrates this Office’s commitment to holding those who abuse their positions of trust accountable.”

It should be noted that in 2022, pastor Whiteland was robbed of an estimated $1 million in jewelry during a live-streamed sermon. In an interview with CBS News, Whitehead stated that the armed robbers targeted him.

The anonymous individuals entered the chapel approximately five to 10 minutes after the sermon began. Whitehead’s wife was also robbed. He also faced a lawsuit from a congregant who claimed the Bishop stole $90,000 from her.

The case against Whitehead was filed in 2021, as reported by the NY Post. Pauline Anderson, 56, claims Whitehead persuaded her to pay him $90,000 to buy and refurbish her property.

Anderson said the liquidated $90,000 “investment” was her life savings, and she gave Whitehead the money in November 2020. Anderson claims Whitehead did not fulfill his promise to pay her $100 per month, despite the fact that the cash she supplied him were her sole source of income, according to The City.

The lawsuit also claimed that Whitehead used Anderson’s funds as a down payment on a $4.4 million New Jersey mansion he sought to buy. Anderson stated that she first learned about the home after the pastor sent an email about it to her son by accident, and that her son introduced her to Whitehead.

Whitehead was unable to purchase the New Jersey home, but he did buy a $4.5 million residential property in Connecticut, according to The City.

Anderson claims Whitehead promised to assist her when she was warned that her terrible credit would prevent her from obtaining a mortgage. And, despite her “reservations” about sending Whitehead the money, she ultimately gave Whitehead the benefit of the doubt “because he was a supposed man of the cloth and had previously helped her own son secure housing for himself,” according to the lawsuit.

After failing to keep his commitment, Whitehead later informed Anderson that he would not refund the money because he planned to invest it in his company. “Ms. Anderson was instead left with nothing but a vague promise by Mr. Whitehead to pay the funds back in the future followed by an assertion that he had no further obligation to do so,” the complaint states.

According to the lawsuit, Anderson wants the court to award her $1 million in damages for the pastor’s “morally reprehensible acts” and for “losing her entire life savings”.

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