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'Bling' pastor faces 65 years in jail after being arrested for scamming parishioners out of almost $100k

'Bling' pastor faces 65 years in jail after being arrested for scamming parishioners out of almost $100k

Lamor Whitehead allegedly 'bullied' parishioners out of their savings

An infamous pastor has been defrauding his parishioners of almost $100,000.

Bishop Lamor Whitehead runs the Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries in New York.

He was arrested on Monday (19 December) after the FBI accused him of lying to their investigators.

It's alleged that the 45-year-old took thousands from his unsuspecting victims and spent it on himself, buying luxury clothes and other items.

And he now faces decades behind bars if found guilty.

Between 2020 and 2021, Whitehead is claimed to have extorted $90,000 of savings from a retired parishioner, having promised to invest the funds and make her wealthier.

Lamor Whitehead has been charged with fraud and extortion.
Marty Jean-Louis/Alamy

Court documents say the self-styled bishop had promised to use the money to help the victim buy a home.

However, it's alleged, after the money was sent to Whitehead, he never followed through on his promise.

Prosecutors also believe Whitehead used threats to 'bully' a Bronx businessman out of $5,000 and later even attempted to get $500,000 out of them.

He has now been charged with wire fraud, attempted wire fraud, extortion, and false statements.

If he is found guilty of all charges, Whitehead faces up to 65 years in prison.

In a statement, FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said: “As we allege today, Whitehead carried out several duplicitous schemes in order to receive funds from his victims.

Whitehead faces decades in prison.

"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."

Whitehead's lawyer, Dawn Florio, said her client would clear his name.

She said: "Bishop Whitehead denies these allegations, and we are going to fight them vigorously."

Earlier this year, Whitehead hit the headlines after he was robbed during a livestream of one of his sermons.

In a video posted online, a group of masked armed men can be seen storming into his church.

At the time, the New York Police Department confirmed that three armed robbers made off with more than $1 million in goods stolen from Whitehead and his wife.

Featured Image Credit: Suffolk County DA/Instagram

Topics: US News, Crime, Police