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Brooklyn’s ‘bling bishop’ found guilty of wire fraud, extortion and lying to FBI

Lamor Miller-Whitehead first attracted media scrutiny when he was robbed of $1m in jewelry during a livestreamed church service
Prosecutors had argued that the preacher also exaggerated his ties to the New York City mayor, Eric Adams. Photograph: Mary Altaffer/AP

Prosecutors had argued that the preacher also exaggerated his ties to the New York City mayor, Eric Adams. Photograph: Mary Altaffer/AP

A Brooklyn preacher who was known for his flashy lifestyle, made headlines after being robbed of $1m in jewelry during a service being broadcast online and boasted of his friendship with New York City’s mayor was found guilty in federal court on Monday of wire fraud, attempted extortion and lying to the FBI.

Lamor Miller-Whitehead, 47, was found guilty of five counts after a trial in federal court in Manhattan that began late last month. Prosecutors had argued that the preacher exaggerated his ties to the New York City mayor, Eric Adams, and let greed overtake him as he looted a parishioner’s retirement savings as well as tried to extort a businessman to fuel his lavish lifestyle.

He also was accused of lying to FBI agents by denying he had a second cellphone.

An attorney for Miller-Whitehead, Dawn Florio, said they were appealing the verdict. She had told jurors during the trial that evidence against her client did not support the charges.

Miller-Whitehead first attracted national media scrutiny in July 2022, when bandits crashed his church service and at gunpoint robbed him of $1m in jewelry.

A December 2022 account by New York magazine found the robbery may have stemmed from Miller-Whitehead’s efforts to intervene in an investigation in June after a Goldman Sachs employee named Daniel Enriquez was shot to death on a subway train in Chinatown. The shooting led to the arrest of a man named Andrew Abdullah.

Miller-Whitehead embraced his flashy lifestyle. The so-called “bling bishop” was known for driving around in a Rolls-Royce, and records show he lived in a $1.6m home in Paramus, New Jersey. He also owned apartment buildings in Hartford, Connecticut.

Prosecutors alleged Miller-Whitehead bilked a parishioner out of $90,000 in retirement savings by falsely promising he would find her a home and invest the rest in his real estate business. Prosecutors say he instead spent the money on luxury goods and clothing.

He also was accused of trying to convince a businessman to lend him $500,000 and give him a stake in real estate deals by claiming his ties to city officials could earn favorable treatment for the businessman’s interests.

Adams grew close to Miller-Whitehead while serving as Brooklyn’s borough president. Adams, a former police captain, has since said he spent decades enforcing the law and expects everyone to follow it.

Sentencing for Miller-Whitehead is scheduled for 1 July.

Author: Editors Desk

Source: The Guardian

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