After all the on screen drama, fights and trash talking, The Real Housewives of Atlanta are now facing some real drama.
Apollo Nida, husband of one the reality show’s co-stara Phaedra Parks, is headed to prison for eight years on fraud charges.
Nida was arrested in January and pleaded guilty in May to charges in a fraud scheme that federal prosecutors say stole millions of dollars from at least 50 people over four years. He could frequently be seen on the show.
This ‘Housewives’ fight leads to arrest
According to his sentence, the thirty-five year old must serve five years under parole supervision after he completes his eight years in a federal prison as ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr.
It will be his second prison term as he previously served five years in a federal prison for auto title fraud before marrying Parks in 2009. Following a year long U.S. Secret Service investigation, he was busted for creating fake collection companies to gather personal information to steal victims’ identities. He then used the information to get fraudulent auto loans in the names of his victims, according to the criminal complaint.
“Today’s sentencing exemplifies impartial justice regardless of economic class or perceived celebrity status,” U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Reginald Moore said. “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.”
The break in the case came in September, when federal investigators arrested Gayla St. Julein, a woman who “described herself as Nida’s ‘right hand b****’ in executing the legwork of his fraud schemes,” the complaint said.
St. Julien, who previously served prison time for identity theft, told agents that Nida “only paid her ‘scraps'” for her work, compared to the amount of money he made from the fraud schemes,” the filing said.
She turned on him and agreed to let agents record their phone calls, it said.
Nida “knowingly and willfully (did) execute and attempt to execute a scheme to defraud federally insured financial institutions by depositing stolen and fraudulently obtained checks and fraudulently obtained auto loan proceeds into bank accounts opened in the stolen identities of real persons, and conspire with others to do so, and knowingly convert to his use and the use of others stolen and fraudulently obtained United States Treasury Checks,” Special Agent Alexandre Herrera said in a sworn affidavit.
Nida’s fake companies fraudulently signed up with “LexisNexis, Equifax, and Mircrobilt databases” to steal personal information on people.
Along with the fraudulent auto loan checks, Nida stole U.S. Treasury checks, “retirement checks issued to Delta Airlines employees, and checks in the names of real people that were owed unclaimed property from various state and federal government agencies.
A hearing on July 17 will determine how much restitution he will have to pay to his victims.