The husband of Bravo reality star Phaedra Parks appeared in federal court in Atlanta Tuesday to hear his sentence on charges of conspiracy to commit fraud. Apollo Nida, 35 has been regularly featured on the cable reality series “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” which follows the lives of several wealthy and influential Atlanta area women. Earlier this year Nida was arrested for his alleged role in a conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud. According to investigators the scheme that involved defrauding auto lenders with stolen checks in 11 states netted more than $2.3 million.
In a downtown Atlanta courtroom, Judge Charles Pannell handed down an eight year prison sentence in accordance with federal sentencing guidelines. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Nida could have been sentenced to as much as 115 months. Nida’s attorneys had been pushing for a much lower sentence taking into account his upbringing and other factors. Nida’s mother testified that when he was growing up she was a drug addict. The defense tried to persuade the judge that other factors including Nida not finishing high school led him to commit the criminal acts he has pled guilty to. However the judge wasn’t convinced, perhaps largely because this isn’t Nida’s first conviction. He served a six year sentence in state prison on a similar charge.
On the Bravo reality series, Nida boasted about spending his own money on strippers. During one particular episode it was revealed that Nida and other husbands on the reality series frequently hang out at strip clubs and that Nida's indulgences at the clubs have on times exceeded $8,000; to the shock of the other housewives.
Nida is married to Atlanta based celebrity attorney and mortician Phaedra Parks. Her most notable clients have included recording artist Bobby Brown, Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri. Many were surprised at Nida’s arrest considering who he’s married to. When Nida and Parks married in 2009, their ceremony was attended by the who’s who of Atlanta especially in the entertainment and legal communities. It has been reported that Georgia Supreme Court Justices Carol Hunstein and Robert Benham were among the invited guests as well as former Georgia Lt. Governor Mark Taylor.
Judge Pannell issued a recommendation that Nida be placed in a federal facility close to Atlanta, in consideration to his family. Nida has two sons with Parks, Ayden and Dylan. It’s possible that Nida can reduce his sentence by participating in a drug rehabilitation program. However it’s not clear whether he had an addiction problem prior to his arrest.
Phaedra Park is expected to appear in the next season of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”. Nida is currently free on bond until the U.S. Bureau of Prisons tells him to report to a facility serve his sentence. Federal prosecutors have not linked or suggested that Parks was involved in Nida's criminal activities.