Controversial New York City Bishop, Lamor Whitehead, has been arrested and is accused of extortion, making materially false statements, and defrauding one of his parishioners of US$90,000.
The bishop has consistently remained in the headlines following the live-streamed robbery of his church during a service, and he was reportedly robbed of an estimated $1 million worth of jewelry. Whitehead has had trouble with the law in the past and was previously convicted of identity theft.
It is alleged that Whitehead defrauded parishioner Pauline Anderson and used her funds to help finance his luxury lifestyle, attempted to defraud and extort a businessman of $500,000, and gave a false statement to the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) during their investigation. Prior to Whitehead’s recent media controversies, Anderson had filed a lawsuit against him for $1 million in damages in 2021. According to Anderson, she had plans to purchase a new home and allowed the bishop to assist her as he had helped her son in a similar capacity.
Whitehead reportedly convinced Anderson that securing a loan on her own would be difficult, and she invested the $90,000 into his company, Lamor Whitehead Inc., with promises that a stipend from her investment would be paid monthly.
With mounting questions as to why the purchase of the house was taking so long, Bishop Whitehead offered only excuses. After Anderson threatened to go to the police and the pair’s relationship deteriorated, Whitehead allegedly referred to funds handed over to him as a donation.
If Whitehead is convicted on all charges, the bishop faces a minimum sentence of 20 years for each fraud count, 20 for extortion, and five for his false statements to the FBI.