‘Bling’ bishop who lives in NJ mansion charged with ripping off parishioners
A Brooklyn pastor who lives in the lap of luxury in New Jersey was charged Monday with defrauding a parishioner out of $90,000 in retirement funds and getting a half-million dollar loan from another.
Lamor Whitehead, 45, of Paramus, convinced a woman to turn over funds in order to invest with the promise of helping her buy a home, according to Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
The so-called "bling bishop" instead spent the money on “luxury goods and other personal purposes" and refused to return the money to the parishioner, the prosecutor said.
According to the indictment, Whitehead "bullied" an unnamed businessman into giving him $5,000. He then tried to get the same businessman to loan him $500,000 to give him a stake in certain real estate projects. In exchange, the businessman would get "favorable actions" from New York City government, something Whitehead in reality could not provide.
'Bling bishop' made headlines
Whitehead made headlines in July when armed bandits crashed his church service and robbed him of $1 million in jewelry during a service that was streamed live. He also helped negotiate the surrender of a man who was accused of fatally shooting a stranger on a subway.
Six bedrooms, seven bedrooms in Paramus
Whitehead was released on a $500,000 personal recognizance bond. U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield said he must stay in the New York City area while the case is pending, maintain employment and not have any contact with alleged victims or witnesses.
“Bishop Lamor Whitehead is not guilty of these charges,” defense lawyer Dawn Florio said. “He will be vigorously defending these allegations. He feels that he is being targeted and being turned into a villain from a victim.”
Whitehead's Paramus home is valued at $1.6 million. According to a video tour on the YouTube channel The Real Estate Insider the 9,000-square-foot home has six bathrooms, seven bathrooms,
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