Apollo Nida, star of The Real Housewives of Atlanta and husband to Phaedra Parks pled guilty today in in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Apollo arrived in court this morning in style. The “clean man” wore a plaid jacket and dark slacks.
Apollo stood in front of Judge Charles Pannell and uttered the words “Guilty” as part of a plea deal he worked out with prosecutors. Apollo’s guilty plea was expected since he “Waived his right to Indictment” last month.
When a defendant waives his/her right to indictment, they are basically saying that they agree that the state has enough evidence to move forward to trial or plea deal without having an independent panel (grand jury) first check the prosecutor’s case. Generally, defendants waive their right if the prosecutor is offering a very good plea bargain that the defendant fears will go away if they challenge the evidence.
Back in January 2014, the feds charged Apollo in a massive bank and identity fraud scheme. Apollo, who is currently on state parole for a 2004 racketeering conviction, didn’t seem phased by the charges. The scam involved, opening 40 bank accounts in and around the Atlanta area, using stolen identities and depositing stolen US Treasury checks, fraudulent checks, stolen retirement checks issued to Delta Airlines employees.
Apollo is no stranger to crime and prison. The former RHOA star served five years in federal prison from 2004 to 2009 for racketeering. Upon his release, he married RHOA star, Phaedra Parks and seemed to have turned his life around but as we know now that was not the case.
Apollo stated in court this morning, the pressures of being on reality television and maintaining a lifestyle he couldn’t afford drove him to commit fraud and the situation took a major toll on him. So much, he once suffered a nervous breakdown over the massive strain to keep up with the Joneses.
Mr. Nida made the following statement in court:
“I take full responsibility for my actions. It was a dumb situation I put myself in. I got sucked in and engulfed and lost sight of things”
Apollo pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and bank fraud. These charges carry up to 30 years in the slammer. In addition, he will be subjected to fines up to $1 million, plus restitution for an estimated $2.3 million.
Sentencing has been scheduled for July 8 at 2 p.m.
In an ironic twist, July 8th happens to be the same sentencing day for Teresa and Joe’s Giudice, stars of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. How convenient for “All About The Tea,” Apollo can share Teresa and Joe Giudice’s “Countdown to Sentencing” clock, located on the site’s sidebar for your viewing convenience.