Brooklyn Preacher Goes On Trial For Fraud Charges Prosecutors Say Fuelled Lavish Lifestyle

(AP) — A Brooklyn preacher with ties to New York City Mayor Eric Adams is set to go on trial Monday in Manhattan federal court over charges that he looted a parishioner’s retirement savings and tried to extort a businessman to fuel his lavish lifestyle.

Lamor Miller-Whitehead, 47, a Rolls Royce-driving bishop, faces the start of jury selection two years after a grand jury lodged charges against him including wire fraud, attempted wire fraud, attempted extortion and making false statements to federal law enforcement officials.

Prosecutors say he plundered a parishioner’s savings and duped a businessman with false claims that they could leverage his connections to New York City officials, including Adams, to make millions of dollars.

Miller-Whitehead has pleaded not guilty.

Miller-Whitehead has been free on $500,000 bail since his arrest, which came only months after he was the victim of a robbery when $1 million in jewellery was stolen from him by gunmen who surprised him during a church service.

His lawyer, Dawn Florio, said at the time that her client felt as if he were being turned from a victim into a villain.

“Bishop Whitehead has pleaded not guilty, and is looking forward to having his day in court, so that he can fight these charges,” Florio said in a statement Friday.

In charging documents, prosecutors made no mention of the friendship that Miller-Whitehead developed with the city’s mayor while he served as Brooklyn’s borough president before his election to the city’s top job.