More off camera drama for one of the husbands of the Real Housewives of Atlanta cast. Today (May 6), Apollo Nida, the husband of Phaedra Parks, pled guilty to charges of mail, wire and bank fraud in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The AJC reports:
In court, wearing a light-colored plaid jacket, Nida accepted charges that could land him in prison for up to 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million on top of restitution for an estimated $2.3 million he allegedly defrauded various individuals, financial institutions and government agencies. Judge Charles Pannell has set the sentencing hearing for July 8 at 2 p.m.
Alana Black, the assistant U.S. attorney, told Judge Pannell Nida’s scheme in detail. He opened a fake debt collection agency to gain access to databases full of individual’s personal information. He would then steal people’s ID and find unclaimed funds, refunds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, stolen U.S. treasury checks and refunds from fraudulent U.S. income tax returns.
Nida had St. Julien open UPS mailboxes and bank checking accounts using those fake identities, deposit those checks, then pocket the money.
Later, he created fake auto dealerships and then get auto loans for phantom cars.
The U.S. Secret Service, working with the state consumer protection agency, caught St. Julien first, then was able to procure Nida’s laptop with oodles of evidence that he could not refute.
Nida said in court that he takes “full responsibility for my actions” and expressed regret for hurting his family and any individuals and institutions affected by his fraud. “It was a dumb situation I put myself in,” he said.
Reportedly, one of his reasons for the illegal activity, was that he felt pressured to keep up with the couple’s public image. He said he even had a nervous breakdown at one point over the pressures to “sustain a lifestyle” befitting of a reality show star. And once he started the scheme, he found it difficult to stop. “I got sucked in and engulfed and lost sight of things,” he said.
Nida is expected to go to prison in July. Apollo has released an official statement about his case, but seemed to be releasing not-so-nice Twitter responses. He wrote: