Apollo Nida faces up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to a laundry list of charges stemming from his massive bank fraud scheme.
The “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star pled guilty to charges of identity theft on Tuesday afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. He also copped to bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy charges.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Apollo showed up to court in a light plaid jacket to accept the charges that could result in a hefty prison sentence and up to $1 million in fines and another $2.3 million in restitution. He’s been accused of stealing about 50 identities and laundering money through fake bank accounts. TMZ.com reports that federal authorities also claim that Apollo cashed stolen U.S. treasury checks and pension checks from Delta Airlines.
“This defendant participated in a sweeping fraud scheme that exploited many segments of the financial system, including phony claims submitted to federal and state agencies, loans secured by vehicles, and even basic identity theft associated with stolen checks,” United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement, EOnline.com reports. “Nida and his conspirators were conniving and creative in their scheme to steal victims’ identities and defraud them.”
According to AJC, Apollo told the judge that he resorted to illegal measures because he felt a need to keep up financially with his wife Phaedra Parks, who was supposedly earning $600,000 for being on “RHOA.” He told S2S that he and Phaedra got married less than six months after he got out of prison. They then quickly joined “RHOA” as cast regulars.
Apollo insisted that Phaedra knew nothing about his scam, revealing that he only told her that he was running a debt collection business. Accepting “full responsibility for my actions,” Apollo revealed that he put himself under a lot of pressure to “sustain a [certain] lifestyle” and he eventually suffered a nervous breakdown off-camera.
“It was a dumb situation I put myself in,” Apollo said in court on Tuesday, explaining that he found it hard to withdraw from his scheme once he started pulling in so much money. “I got sucked in and engulfed and lost sight of things.’”
The Bravo reality star, who denied that he was a criminal at the season 6 “RHOA” reunion, apologized to his family and the victims affected by his scheme. Hours after pleading guilty, he confronted hecklers on Twitter as he fired back insults at them. He stated, that the backlash wasn’t completely unexpected.
TALK SHIT PEOPLE!! I EXCEPTING ALL THE NEGATIVE COMMENTS.
— APOLLO NIDA RHOA (@apollonida03) May 7, 2014
Phaedra has yet to speak out on the matter. Apollo is expected back in court on July 8, when Judge Chris Pannell has scheduled him for sentencing.
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