Apollo Nida, the husband of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” wife Phaedra Parks, today pled guilty to charges of mail, wire and bank fraud in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Nida plead guilty and accepted the consequences of his actions, which could land him in prison for as many as 30 years, and cost him up to $1 million in fines, on top of a restitution of the estimated $2.3 million of which he allegedly defrauded numerous individuals, financial institutions and government agencies.
Nida is reported to have said in court that he takes “full responsibility for my actions” and expressed regret for hurting his family and others affected by his fraudulent actions. “It was a dumb situation I put myself in,” he said.
Nida and his co-conspiritor, Gayla St. Julien (who was sentenced to 61 months in prison last month), were a potential identity theft victim’s worst nightmare. Nida opened a fake debt collection agency, which he used to gain access to databases overflowing with personal information. With the stolen IDs, he would then find unclaimed funds, refunds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, stolen U.S treasury checks and refunds of fraudulent U.S. income tax returns. He also created fake auto dealerships and schemed loans for non-existent cars.
Nida was married to Parks soon after he left prison in 2009, after just completing a five-year term for federal racketeering charges related to auto title fraud. Parks is expected to return for the seventh season of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," which will begin shooting soon. As Judge Charles Pannell has set Nida’s sentencing hearing for July 8 at 2 p.m., it is likely that the drama will be playing out on-screen. Since Parks joined “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” in 2010, Nida has been a regular presence on the show.
“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” wrapped its season with a third reunion show this past Sunday, drawing a best-ever reunion rating of 4.3 million viewers.