Lamor Whitehead was arrested Monday morning on an indictment out of Manhattan, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Whitehead — who garnered international attention earlier this year after being robbed of $1 million of jewelry on a live-streamed Sunday service — allegedly defrauded a parishioner out of $90,000 in retirement savings to buy himself luxury goods, the government said.
"We are vigorously going to defend these accusations," said his attorney, Dawn Florio. "Everyone was wrong about Bishop Lamor Whitehead setting up the robbery at the church, people were arrested he had nothing to do with that."
Whitehead did not answer questions from reporters on Monday. At a news conference earlier this year, Whitehead pushed back on questions about the alleged theft of the parishioner's funds, chastising reporters for even asking about it.
In addition to accusing the pastor of ripping a woman off at his church and swindling her life savings, prosecutors alleged that Whitehead, known as the "bling bishop," extorted $5,000 from a businessman and then tried to get the same person to lend him $500,000 in exchange "for favorable actions from the New York City government, which Whitehead knew he could not obtain."
(Whitehead is well known to have a long-standing and close relationship with Mayor Eric Adams, who the bishop has publicly described as a "mentor, brother and friend.")