As we previously reported, RHOA husband Apollo Nida pleaded guilty on Tuesday on charges of bank fraud and identity theft. It’s unknown if Phaedra accompanied Nida to the courthouse, but Apollo told the judge, “It’s my fault at the end of the day,” and thanks to RealityTea and The Atlanta Constitution Journal we have more details on what happened inside the courtroom.
According to the District Attorney, this is how Nida built the fraud scheme.
“He opened a fake debt collection agency to gain access to databases full of individual’s personal information. He would then steal people’s ID and find 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.
Apollo then had Gayla St. Julien, his co-conspirator who is currently serving time, open UPS mailboxes and bank checking accounts using those fake identities, deposit those checks, then pocket the money. He then transitioned to opening fake auto dealerships and getting fraudulent loans for ‘phantom cars.'”
Apollo told the judge it was his wife’s role on The Real Housewives of Atlanta that led him back to criminal activity. “It was a dumb situation I put myself in,” he admitted, telling the court that he felt ashamed Phaedra was making more money than him with her legal practice and the $600,000 contract she signed with Bravo, so he felt the pressure to “keep up.”
Nida said his feelings of inadequacy at being a provider for his family led him to have a “nervous breakdown” over pressures to “sustain a lifestyle.”
Apologizing, Nida said he didn’t realize who his actions were going to hurt, “because he was primarily targeting private businesses and the government, not individuals. And in the case of unclaimed property, what were the odds these folks would ever claim them?”
Apollo insists Phaedra believed he was running a successful debt collecting agency and had no involvement in the scheme. Phaedra is expected to return to season 7 of RHOA, which begins filming this summer. Nida is facing 30 years in prison and will be sentenced the same day as Teresa and Joe Giudice, July 8th.
Photo Credit: Bravo