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N.Y. Bishop Robbed During Livestreamed Service Is Arrested on Fraud and Extortion Charges

The New York City bishop who was robbed of around $1 million in jewelry during a livestreamed service in July was arrested Monday morning and is facing fraud and extortion charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Lamor Whitehead, who leads Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries church in Brooklyn’s Canarsie neighborhood, was charged with two counts of wire fraud, one count of extortion and one count of making material false statements to the FBI, court documents say.

In one instance, Whitehead, 45, is accused of convincing a parishioner to invest around $90,000 of her retirement savings with him under the pretense that he’d help her buy a home. Instead, he allegedly spent the money on “thousands of dollars of luxury goods and clothing.”

He’s also accused of using threats of force to obtain $5,000 from a New York businessman, which the businessman gave to Whitehead, the court document states.

Whitehead also allegedly tried to convince the same businessman to lend him around $500,000 and give him “interest in real estate transactions” in exchange for “favorable actions by the New York City government,” which he could not obtain, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.


“As we allege today, Lamor Whitehead abused the trust placed in him by a parishioner, bullied a businessman for $5,000, then tried to defraud him of far more than that, and lied to federal agents,” Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said. {snip}

If convicted, Whitehead faces a minimum of 20 years in prison {snip}


Whitehead made news in the summer when assailants stormed a livestreamed Sunday service and robbed him and his wife of $1 million worth of jewelry.


In September, the bishop made headlines again when he was removed from his church by police after video appeared to show him grabbing a woman and pushing her.