Ex-con admits to robbing Brooklyn’s ‘Bling Bishop’ during church service

November 16, 2023 Robert Abruzzese, Courthouse Editor
Screenshots of the robbery of the Bling Bishop were caught during the livestream via the Eastern District of New York.
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An ex-convict, Say-Quan Pollack, 25, has pleaded guilty to a high-profile robbery of Lamor Whitehead, known as the “Bling Bishop,” for the amount of gaudy jewelry he wears during sermons, during a Sunday church service last year. 

The incident, which was captured on a live-streamed video, occurred at Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries in Canarsie, where Pollack and two accomplices stormed in, robbing Whitehead and his wife of more than $1 million in jewelry.

Pollack, who previously retracted an initial plea agreement, admitted to the federal robbery charge in Brooklyn Federal Court on Tuesday, where he is facing a potential maximum sentence of 20 years. Under the plea deal terms, he could appeal for a reduced sentence of no more than 7-and-a-quarter years. 

Whitehead, present during the plea, expressed his desire for Pollack to receive the maximum penalty, emphasizing the trauma inflicted on his congregation and family, including his eight-month-old daughter.

Whitehead, himself entangled in legal troubles, faces multiple federal charges, including wire fraud, extortion, and making false statements to the FBI. These charges arose from separate incidents involving allegations of scamming congregants and seeking illicit favors from New York City government officials. 

Whitehead has maintained his innocence, suggesting a setup linked to his association with Mayor Eric Adams and ongoing investigations into illegal campaign contributions.

Pollack’s accomplice, Juwan Anderson, pleaded not guilty and is currently on bond, with his trial scheduled for March. A third suspect, Shamar Leggette, remains at large. 

The robbery at Whitehead’s church in July 2022, which saw the bishop and his wife divested of valuable jewelry, including a $75,000 Rolex watch, sparked controversy and led to speculation about the incident being staged, a claim Whitehead vehemently denies.

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