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Apollo Nida arrested on multiple charges

File Photo: Apollo Nida and Phaedra Parks at Cirque du Soleil in October 2012.
Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Cirque du Solei

Apollo Nida, costar of Bravo TV's Real Housewives of Atlanta, was recently arrested on federal charges of identity theft and bank fraud. According to Rodney Ho's January 24, 2014 blog for the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Alexandre Herrera, a U.S. Secret Service Agent in the Counterfeit and U.S. Treasury Check Squad, in a written affidavit, charged that Nida created fake companies, enabling him to access databases to find individuals to rip off. He opened fake bank accounts under those real names and funneled stolen U.S. Treasury checks and auto loan proceeds into those accounts.

The agent in February 2012 began investigating alleged criminal activities of Gayla St. Julien, who he said was opening bank accounts under stolen identities to commit bank and check fraud. The investigation ran until September, 2013. At that point, they found 40 bank accounts tied to her. The complaint provided a sampling of bank accounts totaling about $3 million tied to alleged fraudulent activities.

Nida and his wife Phaedra Parks, an entertainment and criminal law attorney, first appeared on the hit Bravo reality show in season three. Parks is a prominent figure in Georgia's legal circles and has represented high profile clients including Bobby Brown. The Parks-Nida union has always been under heavy scrutiny due to Nida's past criminal history. Parks and Nida wed in November of 2009, six months after he was released from prison after five years and placed on parole for a racketeering conviction.

Nida's current occupation first came under suspicion in season four of his reality show. In part two of the reunion show for the fourth season, Parks allegedly intimated that Nida worked in asset recovery, but was not into automobile repossession. All videos of that segment of the show no longer appear online, although other segments are readily available. On April 20, 2012, Geoff Berkshire, a blogger for wrote this in his recap of the reunion show:

— Apollo's asset recovery job does not make him a repo man. Apparently he tries to help people recover lost funds, like uncashed checks or unclaimed inheritances.

Impact of legal woes on families

Nida and Parks have two young sons, Aiden and Dylan. Although Nida has been released on bail, this issue will be a heavy burden for his family to bear. There have been studies done by the US Department of Health and Human Services that show the effects of parental incarceration on children. According to a 2002 DHHS study, young children of incarcerated parents may face psychological impairment, behavioral problems and a difficulty in forming relational bonds.

In a 2008 study from The University of Chicago it is stated that:

Parental imprisonment is a risk factor for child antisocial behavior, offending, mental health problems, drug abuse, school failure, and unemployment. However, very little is known about whether parental imprisonment causes these problems. Parental imprisonment might cause adverse child outcomes because of the trauma of parent‐child separation, stigma, or social and economic strain.

No one can predict the outcome of Nida's case. However, if you are ever faced with options that may lead you to incarceration, think about what your children will have to face in your absence.

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