RHOA Husband Apollo Nida Facing Serious Federal Charges
Things aren’t looking good for Apollo Nida. The husband of Real Housewives of Atlanta
star and lawyer Phaedra Parks, is facing serious federal criminal charges that could
have him facing a 30-year prison sentence. Nida was in court on January 23, 2014, for an initial hearing on charges of embezzlement, aggravated identity theft, bank fraud and conspiracy. His bond was set at $25,000 with stricter than normal supervision with U.S. Pretrial Services.
The allegations involve a scheme dating back to 2009 where Nida purportedly created fake businesses in order to access the databases of LexisNexis and Equifax---both consumer credit reporting agencies in the U.S.---to obtain identities of various individuals.
According to his co-defendant, Gayla St. Julien, Nida provided St. Julien with fake driver's licenses with her photo and the personal identifying information of the individuals he obtained from the databases. He would then give St. Julien fake business names and the stolen identity to be used, along with the corresponding necessary documents such as State of Georgia Secretary of State paperwork and the fake ID so she could open bank accounts. Nida also gave St. Julien items to be deposited which included fraudulent auto loan checks, stolen U.S. Treasury checks, stolen retirement checks issued to Delta Airlines employees, and checks in the names of real people that were owed unclaimed property from various government agencies.
This scheme continued through September 2013, when St. Julien was arrested. Once St. Julien was arrested, she waived her Miranda Rights and informed Special Agents with the United States Secret Service of the scheme she claims Nida orchestrated. St. Julien continued to cooperate with agents and recorded conversations with Nida wherein he allegedly discussed fraudulent schemes. During a recorded call St. Julien arranged to meet Nida at a store parking lot in Atlanta so that he could provide her with a bank debit card for one of the fake businesses. That is when the USSS agents decided to make a move and execute a search warrant on Nida’s car. During the search, agents seized several items of evidence including, bank debit cards, cell phones and a laptop Nida admitted was his property. That laptop revealed Reports from Equifax and LexisNexis including personal identifying information of dozens of individuals, some which were identified as fraud victims, as well as various loan documents.
If the only evidence against Nida---an ex-offender with a rap sheet that dates back to 1988 and includes forgery and ID fraud---was the word of St. Julien, he would have a fighting chance. Court documents indicate St. Julien did all of the transactions at the banks and paid Nida in cash, leaving no paper trail leading police to Nida. However, the case will likely turn on the contents of the recorded phone calls and evidence seized from his vehicle and laptop during the search. A defendant’s words are always admissible in court and are often the basis for a conviction. It is possible to beat a federal criminal charge, but unlike State authorities, the Feds don’t make many mistakes. The charge of bank fraud alone carries a fine of up to $1,000,000 and up to 30 years imprisonment.
St. Julien is scheduled to be sentenced in March 2014 and Nida is due back in court on February 12, 2014 for a preliminary hearing.
Stacy M. Allen has served as counsel on an array of legal matters including civil and criminal law, family law, bankruptcy, and even terrorism cases. Stacy is a proud graduate of St. Edward’s University where she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations with a concentration in Latin America, and of Howard University School of Law, in Washington, DC, where she served as President of the Huver I. Brown Trial Advocacy Moot Court Team. Her current practice focuses on a variety of civil litigation and criminal law matters.
Stacy M. Allen, Attorney at Law (@SMAllen_Esq)