Apollo Nida, the husband of The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Phaedra Parks, pleaded guilty to committing mail, wire and bank fraud back in May, and this afternoon he appeared in an Atlanta district court to receive sentencing. Nida, who has a rather extensive criminal history that includes a previous felony fraud conviction, was sentenced to eight years in prison. Details are still emerging and we will update as soon as we know more!
UPDATE – “The government did what they had to do,” Apollo said after the sentencing. He was then asked if he was unhappy with the sentence and his reply was, “Whatever the judge gave.”
Reportedly, Apollo will be able to voluntarily surrender at a later date. His attorney, Thomas Bever, says Apollo could get out more than 12 months early for good behavior, in which case he would be released to a halfway house.
Phaedra Parks was reportedly not present at the sentencing, but his mother and brother were and both asked leniency for Apollo.
Reginald G. Moore, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office, was quoted in a press release about Apollo’s sentencing: “Today’s sentencing exemplifies impartial justice regardless of economic class or perceived celebrity status. Nida’s sentence should be an eye opener for other like-minded criminals who scheme to steal victims’ identities, defraud them and ignore the consequences of their actions.”
Earlier this week, Apollo’s attorney’s asked the court to change his status from Criminal History Category 5 to Criminal History Category 4. Sentencing pretty much comes down to two factors: the level of crime committed and the defendant’s criminal history, the latter of which is measured in categories ranging from 1 (jaywalking, parking tickets, etc.) to 6 (Mobster boss, Osama Bin Laden, Ted Bundy, etc.) Clearly, being one step down from Charles Manson on a scale of 1-6 would not have been good for Apollo, whose criminal past does include the felony fraud conviction, but otherwise consists of three probation revocations, driving under the influence, and giving a false name to law enforcement — all committed when Apollo, now 35, was under 24 years old.
“A criminal history category of V substantially overstates the seriousness of Mr. Nida’s criminal past, thus warranting a departure from the Guidelines range,” the filing states. “Mr. Nida’s lengthy but early small-time criminal history is simply not in the same league as the ‘violent offenders, drug kingpins and perpetrators of far more serious offenses’ that Criminal History Category V was designed to address.”
With a sentence of just eight years, it appears as though Nida’s defense’s motion may have gone through because it was estimated that he would receive 13 -15.5 years as a Category 5. [UPDATE – Apparently Apollo was sentenced as a Category 5, but still received the relatively light sentence of just 8 years. The judge reportedly acknowledged that Apollo did work with authorities to provide information about others’ criminal activities as part of his plea deal, and that contributed to him getting a reduced sentence.]