On Thursday, Jan. 23, Real Housewives of Atlanta star Phaedra Parks’ husband Apollo Nida surrendered to the U.S. Marshalls after being charged with numerous federal offenses.
According to Tamara Tattles, Nida is being charged with embezzlement which carries a maximum 10-year sentence, bank fraud with a possible 30-year maximum, conspiracy and aggravated identity theft, which would automatically add 2 more years to initial the bank fraud sentence.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports details from the criminal complaint, which was filed on Jan 21, with Nida’s arrest warrant being issued the same day. The written affidavit states that Alexandre Herrera, a U.S. Secret Service Agent in the Counterfeit and U.S. Treasury Check Squad, charged Nida with creating fake companies which allowed him access to databases to find personal information of individuals he could defraud. It was also reported that he opened counterfeit bank accounts under the names of those he targeted, and deposited stolen U.S. Treasury checks and auto loan revenue into those accounts.
In Feb. 2012, an agent started investigating the alleged criminal activities of Gayla St. Julien. She was accused of opening bank accounts under stolen identities to carry out bank and check fraud activities. The investigation extended through Sept. 2013. By that time, 40 banks accounts had been linked to St. Julien, totally more than an estimated $3 million dollars all connected to alleged fraudulent activities.
Two fraudulent debt-collection businesses were also discovered as they were used to “illicitly obtain personal identifying information of individuals.” Both companies used the LexisNexis and Equifax credit bureaus to acquire stolen identities. St. Julien was arrested by the Secret Service on Sept. 11, 2013. She implicated Nida stating that he was the orchestrator behind a number of the alleged fraudulent schemes.
St. Julien “described herself as NIDA’s ‘right hand b****’ in executing the legwork of his fraud schemes,” Herrera wrote. St. Julien also revealed that she was being paid “scraps” compared to the amounts Nida garnered.
He has been accused of using the identities of real people, while St. Julien would pose as the individuals to open the numerous bank accounts. Once the accounts were active, she would deposit the fraudulent auto loan revenue, stolen U.S. Treasury checks, stolen retirement checks that were issued to Delta Airlines employees. The checks were in the names of actual people that” were owed unclaimed property from various state and federal government agencies,” according to the criminal complaint.
Nida also founded Ferrari Autohaus, Inc., which is a fake automotive dealership he used to apply for auto loans under the names of stolen identities. After St. Julien’s arrest, agents had her record conversations where he actually explained many of the elaborate schemes. Agents were able to obtain a federal search warrant of Nida’s vehicle. Federal agents seized a Ferrari Autohaus Inc. bank debit card, cell phones and a laptop computer.
Nida was released from prison in 2009 after serving 5 years for federal racketeering related to auto title fraud. Nida also married Parks Real Housewives of Atlanta star and entertainment attorney Phaedra Parks in 2009. The couple has two children.
Nida appeared in front of U.S. District Judge Gerrilyn G. Brill in Fulton County, GA on yesterday. He was released on a $25,000 pretrial bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 12, 2014.