Brooklyn pastor Lamor Whitehead, known for his flashy clothing and checkered legal past, has been accused of stealing $90,000 in retirement savings from one of his own congregants, according to a lawsuit filed last year.
Earlier this week, Whitehead made headlines when he and his wife were robbed at gunpoint during a worship service at Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn. The church’s livestream captured the robbery, wherein an estimated $1 million worth of jewelry was stolen.
Whitehead is offering a $50,000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest of the suspects.
It has now been revealed through a lawsuit filed last year that Whitehead has been accused of stealing $90,000 from 56-year-old Pauline Anderson, a congregant at Whitehead’s church. Anderson allegedly gave Whitehead the entirety of her retirement fund after Whitehead promised to help her purchase a home. Anderson had been previously unable to secure a loan because of bad credit.
According to the lawsuit, Anderson was first introduced to Whitehead in 2020 through her son, Rasheed, whom Whitehead had previously helped to secure housing. Anderson said that she was at first skeptical about handing over her retirement funds to Whitehead, but ultimately decided he was trustworthy because of his role as a pastor. She allegedly gave him the $90,000 in November 2020.
The agreement Whitehead allegedly made with Anderson entailed Whitehead’s promise to purchase and renovate a home for Anderson using her funds. In the meantime, he was to give Anderson a monthly allowance of $100 from those funds to cover her personal expenses.
Anderson claims that Whitehead only made one payment to her in January 2021, subsequently telling her that her money was tied up in investments related to his election campaign for Brooklyn borough president.
Whitehead later allegedly told Anderson that the funds she had given him constituted “a donation,” and he therefore had no obligation to pay Anderson back.
According to the lawsuit, Whitehead accidentally emailed Rasheed a contract to purchase a $4.4 million home for himself in Saddle River, New Jersey, the down payment of which Rasheed suspected would be funded by his mother’s retirement savings.
The sale never went through. However, Whitehead did go on to purchase a $4.5 million apartment complex in Hartford, Connecticut.