One of the bandits charged with stealing $1 million in jewelry from flashy Brooklyn pastor Lamor Whitehead during a livestreamed church service last year pleaded guilty on Tuesday to the brazen robbery.
Say-Quan Pollack, 25, softly said “Guilty” when Judge William F. Kuntz II asked whether he admitted to helping carry out the caught-on-video July 2022 stickup at Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries in Canarsie.
“I participated in a robbery, took another person’s property, with a threat,” Pollack said during a hearing in Brooklyn federal court.
Pollack pleaded guilty to one count of federal robbery and will likely serve between 5.25 and 6.5 years in prison if he “clearly demonstrates acceptance of responsibility” for the shocking crime before his sentencing date, court papers say.
He had faced a maximum sentence of up to 20 years.
Whitehead was in the courtroom during the plea wearing an orange turtleneck and a jacket — relatively muted for his typical attire — and stared down Pollack from the first row of the gallery.
The pastor, who was dubbed the “Bling Bishop” for his penchant for wearing Fendi suits, bold-framed eyeglasses, gaudy watches, rings, necklaces, and driving a Rolls Royce, previously said he forgave the robbers, but had harsh words for them after court Tuesday.
“These guys came into a house of worship, right? A house of worship with guns. It don’t get no worse than that… with babies, and elderly people, you know?” he told reporters, while glad in a fur-collared tartan overcoat.
His wife and congregants all remain traumatized by the brazen crime, Whitehead added.
“This stuff really destroyed my life and destroyed my church,” referring to speculation at the time that Whitehead staged the robbery for his own gain.
Pollack’s suspected accomplice, 25-year-old Juwan Anderson, pleaded not guilty and is free on bond. His trial is currently slated for March, but court records suggest that he may be nearing a plea deal with the feds as well.
A third robbery suspect, Shamar Leggette, 41, has not been apprehended.
A trio of thieves were filmed robbing Whitehead in the middle of a livestreamed sermon at his Brooklyn church in July 2022.
In footage, Whitehead could be seen dropping to the ground as masked men approached him and congregants screamed. The preacher said the thieves pointed a gun at his 8-month-old daughter, and demanded jewelry from both him and his wife.
They allegedly made off with Whitehead’s $75,000 Rolex watch, a $75,000 Cavalier watch, a $25,000 diamond and ruby ring and other valuables.
Whitehead has become the center of his own controversy since the robbery.
In December, he was hit with federal charges for allegedly scamming congregants out of tens of thousands of dollars and blowing the cash on his lavish lifestyle.
One of his accusers, 65 year-old Pauline Anderson, said Whitehead convinced her to liquidate her life savings and give him $90,000 on the promise he would use it to buy and renovate a home for her.
Instead, prosecutors said the preacher blew her cash on luxury clothing for himself.
Prosecutors also alleged Whitehead, a close pal of Mayor Eric Adams, extorted businessman Brandon Belmonte out of $5,000 and asked him for $500,000 in return for obtaining “favorable actions by the New York City government” for a real estate project of Belmonte’s.
Whitehead was charged with two counts of wire fraud, one count of making material false statements for lying to the FBI, and one count of extortion, federal prosecutors said. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $500,000 bond.
Belmonte has since been charged with conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud in a separate case, which Whitehead has claimed vindicates him of the charges.