Apollo Nida Pleads Guilty To Fraud, Could Face 30 Years In Prison
It’s not looking too good for Apollo Nida. Today, the husband of RHOA star Phaedra Parks, and father of her two sons, pled guilty to charges of mail, wire and bank fraud in the Georgia District Court.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Nida wore a light colored, plaid jacket as he admitted to crimes that could land him in prison for up to 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million in addition to the $2.3 million that Nida stole from individuals, financial institutions and government agencies.
The Judge set Nida’s sentencing hearing for July 8 at 2 pm.
It was Apollo’s accomplice, Gayla St. Julien, who said Nida was the head of the operation, that turned him in when she was arrested in September of 2013. Julien received a five year, one month sentence this past April.
Alana Black, the U.S. attorney, explained that Apollo basically opened a fake debt collection agency to gain access to records full of people’s personal information. From there he would steal IDs and find unclaimed money, refunds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He also collected stolen U.S. treasury checks and refunds from fake income tax returns.
From there Nida and Julien would open mailboxes and checking accounts, using those fake identities, deposit the checks and then keep the money.
But it didn’t stop there. Apparently, Nida also opened a fake car dealership to get loans for cars that didn’t exist.
The Secret Service caught Julien first and that led to Nida. They obtained his laptop that contained too much evidence to refute.
Today in court, Apollo said, “I take full responsibility for my actions.” He acknowledged that he regrets hurting his family and the people and institutions affected by his fraud. “It was a dumb situation I put myself in.”
He did say that back in 2009, he had just left prison after five years and married Phaedra soon after. She signed on to be a part of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast and Apollo said she was making far more money than him, citing a $600,000 contract, and said he felt pressure to keep up. Being an ex convict, getting honest work was no simple task and so he formulated this scheme.
But he claimed that he told Phaedra that he was running a legitimate debt collection firm and kept her in the dark about what he was really doing. He said once he had gotten started, he found it difficult to stop, trying to keep up with the lifestyle of a reality star.
“I got sucked in and engulfed and lost sight of things.”
Nida said that he didn’t think about the individuals he was potentially hurting because he mostly stole from businesses and the government. He acknowledged that he attempted to open a legal halfway house but he couldn’t because he was still on probation for his prior conviction.
But despite his failed efforts, Nida is clear about where the blame lies. “It’s my fault at the end of the day.”
Right now, Phaedra is expected to return to the show for Season 7. The new season should start production soon. If this is the case, Apollo won’t be sentenced until July and all of this will play out in front of the cameras.
Dang. Apollo has played the jerk role more often than not on the show but I have to admit I feel a bit sorry for him.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted on this story.