Pastor of $1M jewelry heist sued by church member

Francis Akhalbey July 29, 2022
A congregant has filed a lawsuit against Bishop Lamor Whitehead alleging he stole $90,000 from her -- Photos via @iambishopwhitehead on Instagram

Bishop Lamor Whitehead, the Brooklyn-based pastor who was recently robbed of an estimated $1 million dollars worth of jewelry during a live-streamed sermon, is facing a lawsuit from a congregant who alleges that the Bishop stole $90,000 from her.

According to the New York Post, the lawsuit against Whitehead was filed last year. The plaintiff, identified as 56-year-old Pauline Anderson, alleges Whitehead persuaded her to pay him $90,000 so he could use the funds to purchase and renovate a home for her. 

Anderson said the liquidated $90,000 “investment” was her life savings, adding that she paid Whitehead the money in November 2020. Anderson also alleges Whitehead reneged on a promise to pay her $100 a month since the aforementioned funds she gave him was her only source of livelihood, The City reported.

In a suit filed at the Brooklyn Supreme Court, Anderson claims that the 44-year-old bishop on only one occasion in January 2021 gave her the agreed $100 monthly payment. The plaintiff also alleges that any time she tried to get updates with regards to the purchase of her home, Whitehead would say he was busy with his election campaigning for the Brooklyn Borough President at the time, the lawsuit states.

The suit also alleges that Whitehead, rather, used Anderson’s funds as down payment for a $4.4 million New Jersey home that he wanted to purchase. Anderson said she only got to know about that home after the pastor mistakenly sent her son an email about the property, adding that it was her son who introduced her to Whitehead.

And though Whitehead was unable to purchase the New Jersey home, he ended up buying a $4.5 million residential property in Connecticut, The City reported.

Anderson claims that Whitehead offered to help her after she was told her bad credit will prevent her from getting a mortgage. And, although she had “reservations” about paying Whitehead the money, she ended up giving Whitehead the benefit of the doubt “because he was a supposed man of the cloth and had previously helped her own son secure housing for himself,” the lawsuit states.

Whitehead, after failing to honor his promise, would later inform Anderson that he did not intend to refund the money as he was going to invest it in his company. “Ms. Anderson was instead left with nothing but a vague promise by Mr. Whitehead to pay the funds back in the future followed by an assertion that he had no further obligation to do so,” the lawsuit alleges.

Anderson wants the court to award her $1 million in damages for the pastor’s “morally reprehensible acts” and for “losing her entire life savings”, per the lawsuit.

Whitehead is known for his ostentatious lifestyle, New York Post reported. He was once convicted of identity theft and grand larceny.

And as Face2Face Africa reported, a group of armed men stormed his church last Sunday and robbed him of his jewelry while he was delivering a sermon. The service at the Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries was being live-streamed when the robbery happened. 

The unidentified men entered the church at about five to ten minutes after the sermon started. Whitehead’s wife was also robbed, CBS News reported.

The bishop said he believes the robbers targeted him and his family after he made the news for the role he played in helping turn in an individual accused of fatally shooting a 48-year-old man at a subway in May.

“I turned him in, but the media called me ‘the bling, bling bishop.’ They had my Rolls-Royce car all over everywhere and I feel that that played a part in this,” Whitehead said. “I think all pastors should be able to get permits for pistols.” 

And though authorities said the jewelry the robbers stole from the bishop and his wife was worth $400,000, sources claim the value was over $1 million, FOX 5 New York reported.

Last Edited by:Francis Akhalbey Updated: July 29, 2022


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