A Gucci-loving Brooklyn bishop, who was robbed of $1 million worth of jewelry in a caught-on-video heist, is a slum landlord evicting several low-income tenants from properties he owns in Connecticut, according to tenants and public records.
Lamor Whitehead, 44, a convicted felon who has described Mayor Eric Adams as a close friend and supporter, is trying to kick out 11 tenants for their failure to pay rent at the four buildings owned by his company Whitehead Estates LLC in Hartford, court records show.
Whitehead bought the buildings, which he described in a social media post as one of the biggest housing complexes in the state, in December 2021. Five months later — in May — he began legal proceedings to evict the tenants, according to court filings.
One tenant, who has lived at one of the buildings since 2019, is among those being evicted. He told The Post Wednesday that he has not paid his $875 in monthly rent for his two-bedroom apartment for the last four months to protest deteriorating conditions in the building, where he said there is no fire escape, the emergency doors are bolted shut and his apartment has multiple leaks, roaches and mice. Yet as soon as Whitehead took over the properties last year, the bishop announced he wanted to increase his rent to $1,400 per month, the tenant said.
A lawyer for Whitehead told The Post Wednesday that the increases reflect “general market rent” in the area, and that the fire escape is now up to code.
“A homeless person shouldn’t even be living here,” said Joseph, who would only be identified by that name and did not want to provide his last name for fear of reprisals. “When I brush my teeth, I have to place a bucket under the sink because it leaks so much. My stove has never worked.”
The evictions are taking place even as Whitehead’s own company defaulted earlier this year on a $4.1 million loan on the buildings, which contain 32 apartments. In September, Hartford’s Metropolitan District Commission sued Whitehead Estates LLC for failure to pay the water bills on the properties known previously as Harmel Homes in the city’s run-down Northeast neighborhood, according to court records.
Whitehead Estates LLC lists its address at a sprawling, 9,000-square-foot mansion in Paramus, NJ, that features six bedrooms and seven bathrooms. It is currently on the market for just under $3 million, according to real estate listings.
Whitehead lives at the lavish property with his wife, Asia DosReis-Whitehead, 39, and their four young children, public records show. DosReis-Whitehead is an ordained bishop and CEO and founder of the UaReACHAMPION Empowerment Network, “a community like network to provide and connect resources for professional women in every genre,” according to its website.
Whitehead made headlines last week when two men were arrested for the July 24 jewelry heist that unfolded as he delivered a sermon at his Brooklyn house of worship, Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries.
“They caught the robbers, the ones that robbed my church…,” Whitehead said in a Facebook post after the arrests were announced. “I’m going to be the first to let you guys know that God is amazing.”
Weeks after the summer robbery, Whitehead railed against those who doubted that he had been the victim of the heist and said he was, in fact, the instigator. He is suing two of his detractors — talk show host and former preacher Larry Reid and a YouTuber named Jives — for $20 million each in Kings County Court.
In his suit, Whitehead claims that Reid’s statements suggesting he had “scammed people out of money” are false and “exposed Plaintiff to public contempt, ridicule, aversion, and/or disgrace.”
But Reid is not the first to accuse Whitehead of theft.
Whitehead, who mounted an unsuccessful bid for Brooklyn borough president in 2021, now faces a lawsuit from a former campaign worker who said the bishop stiffed him out of more than $56,000. Whitehead called the lawsuit “frivolous” in an interview with The Post earlier this month.
And last year, a congregant hit him with a separate suit, claiming he bilked her out of $90,000 in savings. Pauline Anderson, 56, accused the clergyman of convincing her to liquidate her life savings and pay him a $90,000 “investment” in November 2020 with the promise that he would buy and renovate a home for her, according to her Brooklyn Supreme Court lawsuit. Instead, Whitehead used the funds as a down payment on the contract to purchase a $4.4 million home for himself in Saddle River, NJ, the suit alleges.
Adding to Whitehead’s financial woes, a default judgment was entered against him last year for a $335,552 construction loan on his home in Bergen County Court, records show. In 2019, Whitehead’s company tried to pay part of the loan with a check backed by “insufficient funds,” according to court records. (Whitehead’s lawyer did not respond to questions about the bishop’s defaults or outstanding water bills.)
Known for his flamboyance, Whitehead preaches a “prosperity gospel” that focuses on the material benefits of maintaining a close relationship to God, at the Canarsie-based church he founded in March 2014. He often films himself denouncing rival pastors and offering mini life lessons from behind the wheel of his car on his Instagram page, iambishopwhitehead, where he has 1.5 million followers.
“What God did for me he can do for you,” Whitehead told his social media followers last week, while wearing sunglasses and a suit stamped with “Dior” in the driver’s seat of his car.
This year, he promised real estate classes to his social media followers.
“Listen, I’m telling y’all, join my real estate class,” Whitehead said in a February Facebook post in which he pulled up outside his Hartford housing complex in a white Porsche. “I’m going to show you how to buy and flip, how to buy apartment complexes and renovate them. And first and foremost, understand that God did. And not me. God is amazing.”
Whitehead also made headlines in May when he tried to negotiate the surrender of an accused subway shooter on the Q train in Brooklyn. Whitehead claimed to have spoken with Adams while the suspect was on the loose.
Born Lamar Miller Whitehead in Brooklyn in 1978, the bishop had a tragic upbringing. His father, a community leader and entrepreneur in Crown Heights, was strangled to death by police six months after his son was born. Arthur Miller, who had a gun strapped to his waist, intervened when police stopped his younger brother, Samuel, who was driving with a suspended license. The confrontation with several cops at the scene got out of hand, and Miller’s death led to widespread protests against the NYPD, according to reports.
“Growing up as a young man on the mean streets of Brooklyn was not easy,” reads Whitehead’s “Meet the Pastor” bio on his church’s website. “Bishop Whitehead found himself in the predicament that many young men are faced with today; being raised in a single parent home, without a father and expected to survive in a world that was designed for him to fail in.”
A gifted athlete, he scored several college scholarships, according to his website. Whitehead attended Eastern New Mexico University, where he studied accounting and videography, before returning to New York, where he worked as a mortgage broker in Manhattan. Later, he attended New York Theological Seminary and earned a certificate at Theological Institution of Rising Hope Inc., a program accredited through Nyack College, the website says.
But in 2005, his life took a different turn. Whitehead was charged in a $2 million identity theft scam in Brooklyn and Long Island, and was accused of stealing the identities of several people and using their personal information to buy cars and motorcycles, according to his 2006 indictment.
Whitehead was busted on Riverside Drive in Manhattan, driving a Land Rover and clad in a red and white waist-length mink coat in January 2006, according to The Post. By November of that year, court records show, he filed for bankruptcy.
Whitehead was convicted on 17 counts of identity theft and sentenced to between 10 and 30 years. He spent five years at Sing Sing before being released for good behavior in 2013. Whitehead credited his time in prison for bringing him closer to God, and said he was inspired to found his church.
“This experience challenged him daily to stand on everything he knew about God,” according to his website. “Bishop Whitehead learned to fashion his life as the Apostle Paul did during the times of His imprisonment and draw closer to God in his afflictions. Bishop Whitehead believes that through this experience, his walk and his calling in God was solidified and strengthened.”
The pastor, who drives a Rolls-Royce along with other vehicles, has had ties to Adams since the latter was Brooklyn borough president from 2014 to 2021. Whitehead has appeared at several high-profile events with Adams, who spent eight years as borough president before being elected mayor in 2021.
“The bishop lost his dad — Arthur Miller was his name — during a police incident,” Adams said during a press conference in the Bronx this summer. “I have always maintained relationships with people who have gone through traumatic experiences. My goal is to mentor people who go through crisis.”