Judge Sentences ‘Bling Bishop’ Pastor To Several Years In Jail For Fraud

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Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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A Brooklyn pastor aptly nicknamed the “Bling Bishop” was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison for fraud, extortion and making false statements, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced.

Lamor Whitehead stole millions of dollars after submitting false applications to numerous financial institutions, according to the DOJ. In addition, Whitehead stole around $90,000 in retirement savings from his own parishioner, spending the money on luxury goods and other personal expenses after telling the parishioner he was investing the money to buy her a home, the DOJ said.

Whitehead also extorted $5,000 from a businessman, and then tried to fleece $500,000 and a share “in certain real estate transactions” from the same businessman in exchange for favorable actions by the New York City mayor, the press release said. Whitehead made this proposition despite knowing that he could not obtain the promised favors from the mayor, according to the DOJ.

Whitehead not only lied to financial institutions, a businessman, and a parishioner but also made false statements to law enforcement agents during a search of his home in New Jersey, the DOJ said. (RELATED: House Passes Resolution To Hold Attorney General Merrick Garland In Contempt)

“Today’s sentence puts an end to Whitehead’s various schemes and reflects this Office’s commitment to bring accountability to those who abuse their positions of trust,” Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said.

Whitehead was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $85,000 in restitution and forced to forfeit $95,000, the DOJ said.

Dawn Florio, Whitehead’s attorney, told NPR that they “are deeply saddened by the outcome” and plan to appeal the sentence.

“We will explore all available legal avenues to ensure that justice is served,” Florio added.