Home » Lamor Whitehead convicted of fraud, attempted extortion and lying to the FBI

Lamor Whitehead convicted of fraud, attempted extortion and lying to the FBI

by Marko Florentino
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Brooklyn’s notoriously flashy pastor Lamor Whitehead was convicted Monday of fraud, attempted extortion and lying to the FBI for bilking an elderly woman out of her retirement savings and using his ties with the mayor to try to extort a Bronx business owner.

A Manhattan jury found Whitehead — who’s known for wearing designer suits, ostentatious jewelry and bold eyewear — guilty of all counts, including wire fraud, attempted wire fraud and attempted extortion.

Whitehead was found guilty of wire fraud, attempted extortion, lying to the FBI and other charges in Manhattan federal court Monday. Gregory P. Mango
Whitehead allegedly defrauded two victims including the elderly mother of a parishioner who he scammed out of $90,000. Paul Martinka

The church leader scammed Pauline Anderson, the elderly mother of a parishioner, out of $90,000 and tried to extort thousands more from a Bronx auto body shop owner with promises to obtain “official favors” from Mayor Eric Adams on his behalf, federal prosecutors said.

Prosecutors opened the trial last month by calling Whitehead a “conman who told lie after lie to victim after victim.”

Whitehead, 45, convinced Anderson to invest the massive sum for a house he claimed he would buy for her and fix up. Instead, he blew the cash on personal expenses, including purchases at Louis Vuitton and Footlocker and on BMW car payments, prosecutors said.

The pastor also tried to get auto body shop owner Brandon Belmonte to lend him $500,000 in return for favors from the mayor — who Whitehead claimed was like a mentor to him and would “do whatever I wanted.”

Whitehead (pictured with Eric Adams, then Brooklyn borough president, in 2016) claimed he could use his friendship with the mayor to get “official favors” for an auto body shop owner in exchange for $500,000. Stefan Jeremiah

“[Whitehead] lied, cheated and stole to keep up a wealthy appearance,” Prosecutor Jessica Greenwood said last month.

He “used lies and threats to get money from his victims and when lies caught up to him he lied to the FBI,” added Greenwood.

Whitehead was hit with a false statement charge when he lied to FBI agents about how many phones he owned after they obtained a search warrant related to the fraud investigation.

Whitehead was also convicted of falsifying documents to get a $250,000 loan he then used to buy a mansion in New Jersey. Robert Miller

Whitehead is the pastor of the Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries in Canarsie and has become an eccentric figure in the Big Apple for his extravagant fashion and flashy jewelry.

He made national news in July 2022 when he and his wife were robbed at gunpoint while he was in the middle of delivering a live-streamed sermon.

A trio of masked bandits stormed the mass and ran off with the bishop’s $75,000 Rolex watch, a $75,000 Cavalier watch, and a $25,000 ruby and diamond ring, among other valuables. 

Then in December 2022, the church leader was arrested for the charges he’s now convicted of.

Whitehead is scheduled to be sentenced on July 1. He could face decades in prison.

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