Phaedra Parks' husband Apollo Nida charged with bank fraud and identity theft
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/27/2014
The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Phaedra Parks' husband has reportedly being charged with bank fraud and identity theft.
According to a complaint filed by the U.S. District Attorney's office in Atlanta against Apollo Nida on Thursday, Nida created fake companies to steal people's identities in order to open fake bank accounts in their names and deposit stolen money, the Atlanta Journal-Constitutionreported.
Self-described as Nida's "right hand bitch," a woman named Gayla St. Julien was arrested in September 2013 by the U.S. Secret Service and reportedly told agent Alexandre Herrera she did the legwork for Nida in many fraudulent schemes he had orchestrated since 2009. St. Julien allegedly pocketed "scraps" compared to how much Nida earned.
The complaint states two fake debt-collection businesses were identified and used to "illicitly obtain personal identifying information of individuals," according to the Journal-Constitution. The companies reportedly utilized LexisNexis and Equifax database inquiries to achieve that goal.
Nida also reportedly opened a fake auto dealership and applied for auto loans in the names of some of the stolen identities.
Money deposited into the fake bank accounts were allegedly in the following forms: Auto loan checks, stolen U.S. Treasury checks, stolen retirement checks issued to Delta Airlines employees, and checks in the names of real people who were owed unclaimed property from various state and federal government agencies.
The Journal Constitution reported 40 bank accounts in total were tied to St. Julien, and according to the complaint, about $3 million was obtained via fraudulent activity.
The U.S. District Judge Gerrilyn G. Brill reportedly released Nida on a pre-trial bond of $25,000, and a preliminary hearing is set for February 12.
"Should anything change we will let you know," a publicist for Parks told the Journal Constitution, adding that the publicity agency is not allowed to talk about "the personal lives of our clients."
Nida was previously imprisoned from 2004 to 2009 for breaking federal racketeering laws related to auto-title fraud.
Nida married Parks, an attorney, the same year he was released from jail. The pair also began appearing on Bravo's The Real Housewives of Atlanta together in 2009. They welcomed their first child, a son named Ayden, in 2010. Parks then gave birth to their second child, a son named Dylan, in May 2013.