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Brooklyn pastor sentenced to prison for financial fraud

Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead speaks with the media, May 24, 2022, in New York. The Associated Press/Photo by Mary Altaffer, File

Brooklyn pastor sentenced to prison for financial fraud

A U.S. District judge on Monday sentenced a 45-year-old Brooklyn pastor to nine years in prison for white-collar crimes. A jury in March found Lamor Whitehead guilty of wire fraud, attempted wire fraud, attempted extortion, and making false statements to law enforcement agents. In addition to his prison sentence, Whitehead must serve three years of supervised release, pay $85,000 in restitution, and forfeit $95,000.

What did Whitehead do? Whitehead told one of his parishioners to send him $90,000 of her retirement savings so he could help her buy a home, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said in a statement. Instead, Whitehead spent the money on luxury goods and other personal expenses. He tried to defraud a businessman for $500,000, doctored bank statements, and submitted fraudulent loan applications. Whitehead also lied to FBI agents during a search outside his mansion, saying he only had one cell phone when he had two.

Who is he? Known as the “bling bishop,” Whitehead made headlines when robbers stole more than $1 million in jewelry from him in 2022, the Associated Press reported. The robbers interrupted and held Whitehead at gunpoint while he was delivering a live-streamed sermon. Whitehead also served five years in prison for a 2008 conviction of identity theft and larceny.

Dig deeper: Read Juliana Chan Erikson’s report on a religious scam that took a World War II veteran’s life savings.

Elizabeth Moeller

Elizabeth Moeller is a breaking news intern for WORLD and a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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