NYC ‘Bling Bishop’ accused of defrauding parishioner of retirement money to fund luxury lifestyle: indictment

A flashy New York City bishop, who made headlines when he was allegedly robbed of $1 million in jewelry during a live-streamed sermon in July, was arrested again Monday on new federal charges of fraud, extortion and making false statements to FBI agents.

According to the unsealed indictment, Lamor Miller-Whitehead, the founder of Brooklyn-based Leaders of Tomorrow International Churches, is accused of defrauding one of his parishioners out of part of her retirement savings, attempting to extort and defraud a businessman, and lying to said the FBI.

The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced his arrest Monday morning, saying Whitehead will appear before US Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein later in the day.

“As we allege today, Lamor Whitehead abused the trust placed in him by a parishioner, bullied a businessman for $5,000, then tried to defraud him of far more than that, and lied to federal agents,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement . “His campaign of fraud and deception stops now.”

NYC BISHOP ROBBED OF $1M IN JEWELRY MID-SERMON FILES $20M LAWSUITS AGAINST SOCIAL MEDIA CRITICS CLAIMING HOAX

“As we allege today, Whitehead carried out several duplicitous schemes in order to receive funds from his victims,” ​​FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll added. “Additionally, when speaking with authorities, Whitehead consciously chose to mislead and lie to them. If you are willing to attempt to obtain funds through false promises or threats, the FBI will ensure that you are made to face the consequences for your actions in our criminal justice system.”

Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead speaks during a news conference in Brooklyn on July 29, 2022.

Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead speaks during a news conference in Brooklyn on July 29, 2022.
(Theodore Parisienne/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images/File)

The indictment accuses Whitehead of inducing one of his parishioners to invest approximately $90,000 of her retirement savings with him and then spending the investment on luxury goods and other personal purposes.

Secondly, the bishop allegedly extorted a businessman for $5,000, then attempted to convince the same businessman to lend him $500,000 and give him a stake in certain real estate transactions in return for favorable actions from the New York City government, which Whitehead allegedly knew he could not obtain.

When speaking with FBI agents who were executing a search warrant, Whitehead allegedly falsely claimed that he had no cellphones other than the phone he was carrying. In fact, Whitehead owned a second phone, which he regularly used to communicate — including sending a text message describing it as “my other phone” shortly after telling the agents he had no other phones, according to the indictment.

Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead reenacted an alleged mid-sermon robbery.

Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead reenacted an alleged mid-sermon robbery.
(New York Post/Gregory P. Mango/File)

The 45-year-old bishop is charged with two counts of wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; one count of extortion, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and one count of making material false statements, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, prosecutors say.

The indictment did mention the livestreamed gunpoint robbery incident. In July, video showed three masked men barging into the Brooklyn church and demanding valuables from Whitehead and his wife, including a $75,000 Rolex watch, a $75,000 Cavalier watch and several crosses reportedly worth tens of thousands of dollars each.

NYC Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead, founder of Leaders of Tomorrow International Churches in Brooklyn, smiles with expensive jewelry.

NYC Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead, founder of Leaders of Tomorrow International Churches in Brooklyn, smiles with expensive jewelry.
(Facebook)

The NYPD said the three suspected thieves fled in a white Mercedes-Benz.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Arrests did not come until September, when Juwan Anderson and Say-Quan Pollack, both 23, were apprehended and hit with federal robbery charges over the church stickup. At press events he held after the caught-on camera alleged crime, Whitehead claimed the NYPD had accused him of staging the robbery, and the bishop also filed twin $20 million lawsuits against other social media critics who claimed the incident was a hoax.

Whitehead was arrested for allegedly grabbing a woman during another live-streamed sermon in September.