On July 24, pastor Bishop Lamor Whitehead of Brooklyn, New York, was the victim of a brazen robbery. In the middle of his Sunday service, masked gunmen came into his church and stole what Whitehead said was $1 million in jewelry from the preacher and his wife.
The robbers are still at large but in the meantime more information has come out about the flashy preacher, who called himself bishop. Not only does he favor designer suits and high-end cars, he is in a middle of a lawsuit with a former congregant of his the Leaders of Tomorrow International Churches who said the preacher swindled her out of her life savings of $90,000 in 2020. Whitehead allegedly used the money to buy a multi-million-dollar home. He called the lawsuit a “fictitious claim.”
“I can’t get into the legality of this fictitious claim against me,” Whitehead said at a recent press conference he called to clear his name.
It also has been revealed that Whitehead is in debt $335,000, despite owning several real estate properties.
At the press conference, Whitehead denied that the robbers took $1 million, saying the jewelry was worth much less.
“Everybody is setting the narrative that all of this, there was a million dollars, it was $400,000, all that garbage, nobody can quote that I said any of that,” he said. “But to sell newspapers and to sell media, y’all put whatever number you want on its face and I don’t get the opportunity to defend myself.”
The Gothamist news outlet examined the NYPD log of the items stolen, and it included a $390,000 Cuban link chain, a $125,000 wedding ring and a $75,000 Cavalier watch. The police estimate that the total value is $1,080,000. Other items listed included $25,000 earrings, a $75,000 Rolex, a $20,000 Episcopal cross, a $15,000 gold chain, a $50,000 wedding ring, a $25,000 Episcopal ring, a $10,000 gold chain, a $200,000 gold chain, a $20,000 emerald cross and a $50,000 Episcopal ring, The Gothamist reported.
Whitehead defended his taste for luxury goods.
“Fendi, Louie, Gucci, why can’t we wear that in the church?” he said. “I wear what I wear to encourage people not to laugh at people. My community work speaks for itself. I am the biggest pastor in New York City.”
Whitehead is also facing other allegations, such as “alleged malfeasance with other people’s money,” allegations that extend beyond the lawsuit against him, The Gothamist reported. In 2016, the court ordered that Whitehead pay Monterey Symphony conductor Maximo Bragado-Darman $260,000 for an unpaid personal loan, The New York Post reported.
It also has been revealed that Whitehead has served prison time for convictions for identity fraud and grand larceny.
Still, he has friends in high places. Whitehead is pals with New York City Mayor Eric Adams who “encouraged [him] to keep [his] head strong,” The New York Post reported.