Brooklyn’s Bling Bishop Ordered to Take His Flamboyance to Prison

Jared Siskin/Getty
Jared Siskin/Getty

Lamor Whitehead, the flashy Brooklyn pastor best known for rocking Gucci suits and being robbed of his expensive jewelry on a church livestream, was sentenced to nine years in prison on Monday for swindling a parishioner and extorting a businessman to fund his flamboyant lifestyle.

It’s the second time Whitehead, whom New York Mayor Eric Adams once called a “mentor, brother, and friend,” will do prison time. He did six years for identity theft in 2017 and credited his time in prison for bringing him closer to God.

Whitehead, 45, formed a small Brooklyn church called Leaders of Tomorrow Ministry once he got out of prison but prosecutors arrested him in late 2022 for allegedly convincing a female parishioner to part with $90,000 from her retirement savings that would be used to get her a home and invest in his real-estate business. The money was instead spent on designer duds and other luxury goods.

Lamor Whitehead leaves the Brooklyn Federal Court in 2022.

Whitehead leaves the Brooklyn Federal Court in 2022.

Barry Williams/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty

In another scheme, Whitehead extorted Brandon Belmonte, the operator of a Bronx auto shop, for $5,000, using “threats of force,” according to an indictment. Whitehead then tried to get Belmonte to “lend him $500,000 and give him a stake in certain real estate transactions in return for favorable actions from the Mayor of New York City,” prosecutors said. Whitehead was, however, well aware he could not actually carry out that promise.

In addition to the nine-year prison sentence, Whitehead was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $85,000 in restitution and forfeit $95,000.

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