Feds arrest Brooklyn ‘Bling Bishop’ Lamor Whitehead on extortion charges for swindling parishioner, businessman

Flashy Brooklyn “Bling Bishop” Lamor Whitehead was busted by the feds Monday on charges that he swindled a retired parishioner out of tens of thousands of dollars, extorted a businessman and deceived investigators.

After months of headline-grabbing incidents in which he was both the accused and the victim, the Brooklyn church pastor was in the spotlight once again, this time after federal prosecutors accused him of fraud, extortion and making false statements to the FBI.

“Lamor Whitehead abused the trust placed in him by a parishioner, bullied a businessman for $5,000, then tried to defraud him of far more than that, and lied to federal agents,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said after Whitehead’s arrest. “His campaign of fraud and deceit stops now.”

Whitehead was famously robbed at gunpoint on camera of $1 million in flashy jewelry in the middle of delivering a sermon at his Canarsie church.

Whitehead, 45, who counts Mayor Adams among his friends, is little more than a false prophet who took advantage of men and women who sought his spiritual and financial guidance, the feds charge.

Whitehead, pastor of the Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministry, sought money and other things of value from victims on the basis of threats and false promises that victims’ investments would benefit them financially, according to prosecutors.

In one instance, Whitehead persuaded one of his parishioners to invest nearly $90,000 of her retirement savings with him. But instead of delivering her to the financial promised land, Whitehead spent the money on luxury goods and other personal items, authorities said.

In another instance, Whitehead allegedly extorted a businessman for $5,000, then attempted to convince him to lend him $500,000 and give him a stake in a real estate transactions in return for favorable actions from the New York City government, which Whitehead knew he could not deliver.

He even lied to the FBI, according to authorities. When agents executed a search warrant, Whitehead told them he had no cell phones other than the one he was carrying, officials said.

The truth was that Whitehead owned a second phone that he regularly used to communicate, officials said. He even used the second phone to send a text message describing it as “my other phone” shortly after telling the agents he had no other phones, officials said.

“Whitehead carried out several duplicitous schemes in order to receive funds from his victims,” said FBI Assistant Director Michael Driscoll. “When speaking with authorities, Whitehead consciously chose to mislead and lie to them.”

Whitehead, who was arrested at 6 a.m., appeared Monday afternoon in Manhattan Federal Court, where he was charged with two counts of wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, one count of extortion, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, and one count of making false statements, which carries a max sentence of five years.

He pleaded not guilty.

The bishop, sporting a white hoodie and camouflage sweatpants, wiped tears from his eyes as his attorney Dawn Florio — wearing rose-tinted glasses — was heard explaining the terms of his bail package on a hot microphone.

Whitehead’s travel was restricted to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and he was ordered to surrender any passports and travel documents. Judge Lorna Schofield told him he was to have no contact with any of the alleged victims or witnesses and said Whitehead cannot open any new lines of credit without permission of pretrial services.

Whitehead was released on a $500,000 bond.

“I just want to point out to the court that my client had never owned a passport, never applied for a passport,” Florio said, adding that Whitehead will “absolutely make no new” application for one.

“We are vigorously going to defend these accusations,” Florio said. “We feel that he is being targeted, and he is being turned from a victim into a villain. Now, everyone was wrong about Bishop Lamor Whitehead setting up the robbery at the church. People were arrested. He had nothing to do with that. This all stems out of a civil lawsuit that is being handled in civil court and he will be vindicated.”

Earlier, Adams, who has been friends with Whitehead for years, described the allegations against the pastor as “troubling,” but did not distance himself completely from him.

“I’ve spent decades enforcing the law and expect everyone to follow it,” the mayor said. “I have also dedicated my life to assisting individuals with troubled pasts. While these allegations are troubling, I will withhold further comment until the process reaches its final conclusion.”

A source close to Adams said the mayor and Whitehead have known each other since before Adams became Brooklyn borough president in 2014.

The pastor’s father was Arthur Miller, a Crown Heights businessman who died after an NYPD officer put him in a chokehold in 1978. The source said Adams and Whitehead were first introduced to each other as part of Adams’ work with the 100 Blacks In Law Enforcement Who Care, a police reform advocacy group Adams co-founded while serving in the NYPD.

“They go way back,” the source said of Adams and Whitehead.

Whitehead often refers to Adams as a “mentor” and “friend” on social media, saying Adams has “taught” him “a lot,” and the two have been pictured together on many occasions over the years.

The year has been an eventful one for Whitehead.

The gunpoint, caught-on-camera robbery of the pastor and his wife came while he was delivering a sermon in July.

The minister drives a Rolls Royce and has an affinity for Gucci suits and shiny jewelry.

In May, he tried to orchestrate the surrender of Andrew Abdullah, the man accused of fatally shooting Goldman Sachs researcher Daniel Enriquez on the Q train.

In September, Whitehead was briefly handcuffed after a clash with a woman during a Sunday service at his Remsen Ave. church.

And, last month, the bishop filed a $50 million lawsuit against a New York City hip-hop radio station and one of its hosts for calling him a “drug dealer” on the air. Whitehead said the accusation by 94.7 The Block’s morning host Miss Jones hurt his reputation.

A day before his arrest on federal charges, Whitehead posted a long rambling live video to his Instagram account.

Toward the end of the monologue, Whitehead asked parishioners listening in to donate hundreds of dollars to his church and teased several “announcements” coming this week.

“It’s sowing time,” he says in the video. “You got to sow. I need to understand who’s going to sow $300 right now. Sow $100. God is still going to bless you. It’s a measurement of your faith.”

He hyped an upcoming toy drive and seemed unaware he was going to be arrested the next day.

“Y’all stay tapped into me this week,” he said in the video. “There’s going to be a lot of announcements.”