In case you missed it, The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Phaedra Parks’ husband Apollo Nida was arrested last month as part of a Secret Service fraud investigation. Nida, who served nearly five years for racketeering from 2004-2009, is facing charges of bank fraud and identity theft after allegedly setting up fake companies and stealing individual’s identities in a series of elaborate alleged schemes involving fake car loans, stolen Delta Airlines retirement checks and stolen U.S. Treasury checks funneled through fraudulent bank accounts.
According to the complaint (you can read it here) Apollo was caught on tape by the Secret Service detailing his schemes to his accomplice, Gayla St. Julien, who was arrested in September, 2013 after she was identified as the individual setting up the more than 40 bank accounts under false identities.
The arrest had many questioning whether Apollo’s wife Phaedra Parks was aware or perhaps even involved in the scams, a possibility seemingly made more believable by allegations made by one of Apollo’s accomplices from his prior racketeering arrest, Angela Stanton, that Phaedra was involved in their criminal activities. Stanton published the book Lies of a Real House Wife: Tell The Truth and Shame The Devil in March of 2012, in which she alleges that Phaedra Parks helped orchestrate an elaborate auto theft ring that would eventually get Stanton, Apollo and Apollo’s brother Everett arrested.
Phaedra Parks sued Stanton (and Vibe magazine, who published the book as well as video interviews with Stanton detailing Phaedra’s alleged involvement) for defamation in a trial that is set to begin tomorrow, February 4, 2014. Phaedra was initially represented by Georgia-based defamation super lawyer Lin Wood and criminal lawyer B.J. Bernstein, but both attorneys withdrew from the case on September 30, 2013, which was a little more than two weeks after federal authorities served a search warrant on Apollo Nida’s car while parked in a Kroger parking lot and recovered “a bank debit card in the name of Ferrari Autohaus Inc., cell phones, and a laptop computer used by NIDA in furtherance of his fraudulent schemes,” according to the federal indictment.
And today the internet is abuzz after it was discovered “Phaedra Nida” is listed as an officer on several companies alongside husband Apollo Nida, including National Recovery Group, Inc., which “is a full service asset recovery and debt collecting agency,” according to their website. This company is particularly interesting because it is a debt collection agency, the kind which Apollo allegedly set up to gain access to “LexisNexis, Equifax, and similar databases,” according to the indictment. (It should be pointed out that National Recovery Group was not named in the complaint.)
The complaint states there are more than 40 bank accounts used by Apollo Nida and St. Julien, detailing 8 accounts that were tied to nearly $3 million in fraudulent funds. Anyone who has watched The Real Housewives of Atlanta would probably assume Phaedra is not the kind of woman who would not ask questions about millions of dollars worth of income from her convicted felon husband, right? That opinion seems reinforced by that fact that Phaedra was connected (at least in name) to multiple business endeavors by Apollo, including National Recovery Group, Inc., Nida, Inc., Nida Fitness Inc. and Nida Group, Inc.
In addition to Phaedra Parks, there are also rumors that other Real Housewives of Atlanta cast members may be involved as well! RHOA reporter extraordinaire Sandra Rose wrote about the case recently, “The feds requested additional indictments be sealed as the case is ongoing and other Nida co-conspirators are under investigation, including ‘several’ Real Housewives of Atlanta cast members, according to my source down at the court house.”
Hmmmm… That cast trip down to Aguilla (which is a common location for offshore banking) is seeming a bit more curious!
Stay tuned — I assume we will be hearing A LOT more about this case. And perhaps eventually we’ll all be watching Michael B. Jordan portraying Apollo Nida in the big screen blockbuster, The Wolf of Peachtree Street.