'Flashy' bishop pushes back on accusations and criticism

Bishop Lamor Whitehead of the Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries in Canarsie, Brooklyn, is vehemently denying claims that he stole a parishioner's entire life savings.

"Please don't be bamboozled by how people turn things around," Whitehead said at what he called an "emergency press conference" on Friday. "We gained a victory today so everybody that's been posting about 'Bishop,' I want you all to understand that you're all; seeing a true man of god."

But that "victory" is still unclear. We got no response from his team after reaching out for the details. 

Last September, Pauline Anderson, 56, filed a $1 million lawsuit against Whitehead, claiming he convinced her to invest $90,000 into one of his firms and in return he’d help her buy and renovate a new home. But court papers allege that he used that money as a down payment for a multimillion-dollar home in New Jersey and left Anderson empty-handed. 

"I separate myself from my church, so it's not like I help my church do any investments," Whitehead said. "I've never done that."

Whitehead has been in the spotlight recently after armed robbers stormed his church during a live streaming service last Sunday and stole expensive jewelry from him and his wife. 

At his Friday press conference, he spoke about the experience, saying the robbers pointed their guns at him, his wife, and their 8-month-old daughter. He said that during the robbery, he lamented not being able to protect his parishioners.

Whitehead is known in the tabloids as the "flashy preacher" or "flashy bishop" because of his unapologetic flaunting of his Gucci suits, diamond-encrusted jewelry, and luxury cars, including a Rolls-Royce. In fact, he said the church gunmen made off with jewelry worth about $1 million. 

Whitehead served a five-year prison sentence for felony identity theft and grand larceny. He has claimed he was illegally convicted. 

The pastor founded his ministry in 2013.