NYC “Bling Bishop” Lamor Whitehead sentenced to 9 years in prison for financial crimes

A New York priest known as the “Bling Bishop” will spend nearly a decade behind bars for financial crimes he vehemently denied committing.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced On Monday, Bishop Lamor Whitehead was sentenced to nine years in prison for wire fraud, attempted extortion and making false statements to federal law enforcement agents.

Whitehead, pastor of Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries in Brooklyn, was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $85,000 in restitution and a $95,000 fine.

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“Lamor Whitehead is a con man who stole millions of dollars in a series of financial scams and even stole from one of his own parishioners,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams. “He lied to federal agents, and again to the Court at this trial. Today's sentence puts an end to Whitehead's various plans and reflects the commitment of this Office to bring accountability to those who abuse their positions of trust.

Whitehead's sentencing at the hands of U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield comes three months after his conviction for using $90,000 given to him by a parishioner he promised to help buy a home to make a down payment on a $4.4 million New Jersey mansion and try to him. to force an auto body owner to give him $500,000 in exchange for promising him access to New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

The statement from the United States Attorney's Office regarding Whitehead's sentencing contained additional details about the charges against Whitehead taken directly from his indictment and evidence at trial. The statement notes that he falsely claimed he had millions of dollars in the bank and was making hundreds of thousands of dollars a month when he applied for a $250,000 business loan.

Whitehead received millions of dollars in loans for making fraudulent loan applications similar to those of other financial institutions. Whitehead's accusations of lying to federal agents stem from his insistence to federal police executing a search warrant at his mansion that he did not own any cell phones other than the one he had on his person despite having another cell phone.

Whitehead has consistently maintained his innocence of any wrongdoing, posting an Instagram story after his conviction stating that “the story is not over.” Adding that “God is still God” and asserting that “they can all laugh now and talk,” he predicted that “Jesus will get the glory” and urged his followers to “Stay tuned for this new chapter called … Truth and justification. ”

Whitehead's nickname as the “Bling Bishop” stems from his flamboyant lifestyle, which drew national attention after he was robbed at gunpoint in 2022. Multiple masked gunmen entered his church and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry as a terrified congregation watched. .

The conviction planned to send Whitehead to prison is not the priest's first encounter with the law.

In 2006, he was arrested for carrying out a $2 million identity theft scheme and ended up serving five years in prison, securing release in 2013. Whitehead denied all allegations of wrongdoing in that case as well, claiming he was “falsely convicted and arrested for a crime that I didn't.”


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