Real Housewives of Atlanta star Phaedra Parks' husband Apollo Nida was handed an eight-year prison sentence by a federal judge for defrauding over 50 people of roughly $2 million over a four-year period.
Nida, who had spent time behind bars from 2003 to 2009 for auto theft, was initially looking at 30 years, but his cooperation with authorities helped with the reduced sentence.
Soon after being released in 2009, Nida opened a fake debt collection agency to gain access to databases full of debtors' personal information. He would then steal identities to locate unclaimed funds, refunds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, stolen U.S. treasury checks and refunds from fraudulent U.S. income tax returns.
Nida had an accomplice named Gayla St. Julien, who opened UPS mailboxes and bank checking accounts using those fake identities, deposited the checks, then pocketed the money. Nida went on to create a fake car dealership, and took out auto loans for cars that didn't exist. The Secret Service eventually tracked St. Julien down, and she led them to Nida.
Fellow Atlantan housewife Kenya Moore took to Twitter to express her opinion on the sentencing:
You can't kick someone while they are down even if they fell trying to trip you. Offer them a hand instead. #killthemwithkindness
— KENYA MOORE (@KenyaMoore) July 8, 2014
Reginald G. Moore, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office, commented, “Today’s sentencing exemplifies impartial justice regardless of economic class or perceived celebrity status. 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.”
After sentencing, Nida commented, “The government did what they had to do,” adding, “I want to apologize to the victims. I want to apologize to my family for letting them down.” Nida remains free on bond, and will likely have to turn himself in to begin his sentence within three to six weeks.
Here Phaedra explains Apollo's job:
Nida explained that his reasoning behind his criminal actions revolved around feeling pressure to make money to keep up with his wife’s high-profile attorney income and “Real Housewives” salary. He added that because of his status as a convicted felon, finding a legitimate job was a challenge.
Image via Youtube