Home Christian News ‘Bling Bishop’ Lamor Whitehead Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison for Fraud,...

‘Bling Bishop’ Lamor Whitehead Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison for Fraud, Extortion, Lying to Federal Agents

lamor whitehead
Bishop Lamor Whitehead. Screengrab from Instagram / @iambishopwhitehead

Bishop Lamor Whitehead, pastor of Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries in New York City, has been sentenced to nine years in prison. Whitehead, who is sometimes called the “bling bishop,” has been ordered to pay $85,000 in restitution and to forfeit $95,000 as a result of being found guilty of ​​fraud, attempted extortion, and lying to federal agents.

“Lamor Whitehead is a con man who stole millions of dollars in a string of financial frauds and even stole from one of his own parishioners,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams in a statement Monday, June 17, the day Whitehead was sentenced. “He lied to federal agents, and again to the Court at his trial.”

“Today’s sentence puts an end to Whitehead’s various schemes,” Williams said, “and reflects this Office’s commitment to bring accountability to those who abuse their positions of trust.”

Bishop Lamor Whitehead Sentenced

Bishop Lamor Whitehead made headlines in July 2022 when his church’s livestream captured thieves stealing over $1 million worth of jewelry from him and his wife while Whitehead was preaching. 

The bishop is known for his extravagant lifestyle, which has included driving a Rolls Royce, living in a mansion, and wearing Gucci suits. Before founding Leaders of Tomorrow, he served five years in prison for identity theft and grand larceny.

Shortly after news of the jewelry theft broke, it came to light that Whitehead was being sued for stealing $90,000 from the retirement fund of one of his congregants, 56-year-old Pauline Anderson.

In September 2022, Whitehead was arrested after he grabbed a woman during one of his sermons and forced her off-camera, but the charges were dropped. In November 2022, Whitehead filed a defamation suit, seeking $50 million in damages from a radio station for comments implying Whitehead committed crimes.

On Dec. 19, 2022, the bishop was arrested and charged with fraud, extortion, and lying to federal agents. The charges included that Whitehead had defrauded Pauline Anderson, as well as that he had extorted $5,000 from a businessman and attempted to get the same man to lend him $500,000. 

On March 11, a jury unanimously found Whitehead guilty of “two counts of wire fraud, one count of attempted wire fraud, and one count of attempted extortion,” as well as “one count of making false statements” to federal law enforcement agents. The bishop pleaded not guilty and said he planned to appeal the verdict.

Whitehead was reportedly jailed on May 20 for allegedly threatening Anderson and violating a restraining order. The bishop has maintained his innocence and implied that God is on his side, saying, “God is just amazing, to continue to give me great wisdom, great joy, and in spite of it all…God is still God, and the enemy wants you to give up on God, and I’m not gon’ do that.”