Apollo Nida, husband of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member Phaedra Parks, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. in an Atlanta courtroom on Tuesday, July 8, to eight years in prison. A hearing scheduled for July 17 will determine the restitution Nida will be required to pay victims of his crimes.
Nida pleaded guilty in May to charges that he stole millions of dollars from 50+ people over four years. A reported year-long investigation by the U.S. Secret Service led to his arrest. Nida obtained personal information from LexisNexis, Equifax and Microbilt databases via fake collection agencies he created, and was able to then find and collect tax refunds, retirement checks, unclaimed money, and even obtain fraudulent car loans on vehicles that did not exist after he set up fake auto dealerships.
"Today's sentencing exemplifies impartial justice regardless of economic class or perceived celebrity status," U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Reginald Moore said, reported CNN. "Nida's sentence should be an eye-opener for other like-minded criminals who scheme to steal victims' identities, defraud them and ignore the consequences of their actions."
Nida pleaded guilty after his co-conspirator, Gayla St. Julien, received a prison sentence of 61 months. She actually complained to agents about Nida, saying he “only paid her ‘scraps’” compared to what he was making. She allowed agents to record their phone calls to help make a case against him.
This is not the first time for Nida behind bars. In fact, he served a five-year prison term for an auto title scheme before marrying RHOA reality star Phaedra Parks in 2009. And, before reaching the age of 24, Nida had been arrested for DUI and providing a false name to law enforcement, and he had had three probation revocations.
Nida, in fact, got off pretty easy, considering the judge could have chosen to throw the book at him and give him a max sentence of 30 years. Now 35, Nida must serve five years under parole supervision after he completes his eight years in a federal prison.