The heat is on Apollo Nida, the husband of "Real Housewives of Atlanta" cast member Phaedra Parks.
In U.S. District Court Wednesday, Nida's co-conspirator Gayla St. Julien pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, resulting in a 61-month prison sentence.
St. Julien worked with Nida from 2009 until 2013. The federal government filed a complaint charging him of the same two charges as St. Julien.
During her time working with Nida, she opened several fake bank accounts to launder money obtained fraudulently, the complaint alleged. A sampling of accounts listed in the complaint totaled about $3 million.
St. Julien, “described herself as NIDA’s ‘right hand b****' in executing the legwork of his fraud schemes,” wrote Alexandre Herrera, a U.S. Secret Service Agent in the Counterfeit and U.S. Treasury Check Squad. She told Herrara she received “scraps” compared to how much Nida pocketed.
Nida is still in talks with the feds for a plea deal.
According to the updated complaint filed this past Monday, Nida created two fake collection agencies to gain access to databases "in order to obtain unlimited access to the personal identifiers of others."
Allegedly, he then:
- rented dozens of mailboxes at UPS stores and other places under various aliases, including the names of identity theft victims.
- created counterfeit drivers' licenses and other ID, applied for and received unclaimed funds from state governments impersonating the true owners.
- applied and received refunds due former homeowners from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- purchased checks, including U.S. Treasury checks, from others knowing they were stolen and fraudulently obtained.
- created fake auto dealerships to obtain auto loan approvals using stolen identities.
- opened personal and business accounts at financial institutions using stolen identities to launder stolen and fraudulently obtained proceeds.
St. Julien was arrested Sept. 11, 2013 and she told investigators about the schemes. She set up a meeting with Nida Sept. 13 where the U.S. Secret Service confiscated Nida's cell phone and computer, providing plenty of details about his actions.
Nida was previously imprisoned from 2004 to 2009 for breaking federal racketeering laws related to auto title fraud. He married Parks, an attorney, in 2009 and they have since had two children.
Parks' name does not show up in the complaint and she told Andy Cohen on "Watch What Happens Live" during the reunion show that aired this past Sunday that she has nothing to do with that situation. Nida is scheduled to appear on part three of the "Real Housewives" reunion shows May 4 to address his actions.
Nida has been a regular presence on Bravo's "Real Housewives of Atlanta," which is in its sixth and most popular season to date.
The U.S. District Judge Gerrilyn G. Brill released Nida in late January on a pretrial bond of $25,000.
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