NYC 'Bling Bishop' Lamor Whitehead sentenced to 9 years in prison for financial crimes

Bishop Lamor Whitehead preaching at Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries in New York City.
Bishop Lamor Whitehead preaching at Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries in New York City. | YouTube/Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries

A New York City pastor known as the “Bling Bishop” will spend nearly a decade behind bars for financial crimes that he has vehemently denied committing.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced Monday that Bishop Lamor Whitehead was sentenced to nine years in prison for wire fraud, attempted extortion and making false statements to federal law enforcement agents.

Whitehead, pastor of Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries in Brooklyn, was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $85,000 in restitution and a fine of $95,000. 

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“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 for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams. “He lied to federal agents, and again to the Court at this trial. Today’s sentence puts an end to Whitehead’s various schemes and reflects this Office’s commitment to bring accountability to those who abuse their positions of trust.”

Whitehead’s sentencing at the hands of U.S. District Court Judge Lorna Schofield comes three months after his conviction for using $90,000 given to him by a parishioner he vowed to assist with purchasing a home to make a down payment for a $4.4 million New Jersey mansion and attempting to force a body shop owner to give him $500,000 in exchange for promising him access to New York City Mayor Eric Adams. 

The statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office about Whitehead’s sentencing contained additional details about the allegations against Whitehead taken directly from his indictment and evidence at trial. The statement notes that he falsely claimed he had millions of dollars in the bank and made hundreds of thousands of dollars a month when submitting an application for a $250,000 business loan.

Whitehead received millions of dollars in loans due to making fraudulent loan applications similar to those of other financial institutions. Whitehead’s charges of lying to federal agents stem from his insistence to federal law enforcement officials executing a search warrant at his mansion that he did not own any cell phones besides the one he had on his person despite having another cell phone. 

Whitehead has consistently maintained his innocence of any wrongdoing, posting an Instagram story after his conviction declaring that “the story isn’t over.” Adding that “God is still God” and asserting that “they can all laugh now and talk,” he predicted that “Jesus will get the glory” and urged his followers to “Stay tuned for this new chapter called … Truth and vindication.” 

Whitehead’s nickname as the “Bling Bishop” stems from his extravagant lifestyle, which drew national attention after he was robbed at gunpoint in 2022. Multiple masked gunmen entered his church and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry as a frightened congregation looked on. 

The conviction slated to send Whitehead to prison is not the pastor’s first run-in with the law.

In 2006, he was arrested for perpetrating a $2 million identity theft scheme and ended up serving five years in prison, securing release in 2013. Whitehead denied all allegations of wrongdoing in that case as well, maintaining that he was “falsely convicted and arrested for a crime I did not commit.”

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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