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A Brooklyn pastor, who over the years has flaunted his lavish lifestyle, is set to go on trial Monday over charges that he allegedly stole retirement savings from a parishioner and extorted a businessman.

According to AP, the jury section in the trial against Lamor Miller-Whitehead will begin this week, two years after a grand jury decided the preacher should face charges of wire fraud, attempted wire fraud, attempted extortion and making false statements to federal law enforcement officials.

Prosecutors claim Miller-Whitehead looted a church member’s retirement savings to pay for his flamboyant and expensive lifestyle, as well as lying to a business associate whom he told he could parlay his connections with New York City officials into millions of dollars. 

Lamor Miller-Whitehead was arrested in December 2022 and has been free on $500,000 bail since his arrest. After his arrest, the Rolls Royce-driving pastor pleaded not guilty to all charges.

“Bishop Lamor Whitehead is not guilty of these charges,” defense lawyer Dawn Florio said after his arrest. “He will be vigorously defending these allegations. He feels that he is being targeted and being turned into a villain from a victim.”

According to the grand jury indictment, Miller-Whitehead is accused of swindling money from his constituents with false promises of big investment returns. He then allegedly took the money “with no intention of investing it, returning it, or enriching the victims,” the indictment read.

Miller-Whitehead was sued last year for allegedly defrauding a church member out of $90,000 in retirement savings. According to the lawsuit, Miller-Whitehead falsely promised to use the money to help the member find a home and invest in real estate. Prosecutors claim he took the money and used it to buy thousands of dollars worth of luxury goods and clothing.

From AP:

In the lawsuit, the parishioner alleges Miller-Whitehead told her he considered the money not as an investment, but a donation to his unsuccessful campaign last year for Brooklyn borough president and that he was under no obligation to repay her. The parishioner’s lawyer said they had no comment on Miller-Whitehead’s indictment.

Bishop Lamor Miller Whitehead Hosts Tribute To Biggie Smalls

Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty

Lamor Miller-Whitehead’s flashy lifestyle, which he loved to post on social media, unfortunately, made him a target. In July 2022, he was robbed of more than $1 million worth of jewelry when armed men crashed his Brooklyn church service demanding the jewelry. According to police, the pastor was delivering a sermon at his Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries, when three men walked in with guns demanding property from him and his wife. The service was also being streamed online. 

After the church robbery, Miller-Whitehead defended his lifestyle on social media, saying he’s “going to live his life the way God has it set up for him.”

“It’s not about me being flashy,” Miller-Whitehead said. “It’s about me, purchasing what I want to purchase. And it’s my prerogative to purchase what I want to purchase.”

SEE ALSO:

‘Pride In The Pews’: Religious LGBTQ+ Reform Efforts Explore State Of The Black Church

Study Shows Young Black Americans Are Less Connected To The Black Church

The post Brooklyn Pastor’s Lavish Lifestyle Takes Center Stage As Fraud Trial Begins appeared first on NewsOne.

Brooklyn Pastor’s Lavish Lifestyle Takes Center Stage As Fraud Trial Begins  was originally published on newsone.com