Apollo Nida (left) received eight years in federal prison at a sentencing hearing July 8, 2014 after pleading guilty to bank fraud and ID theft on May 6, 2014. His attorney made it clear that his wife Phaedra Parks (right) was not involved. CREDIT: Getty Images
Apollo Nida, the husband of Phaedra Parks on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” Tuesday received an eight-year sentence by a federal court judge for his four-year scheme that involved bank, mail and wire fraud and ID theft.
Judge Charles Pannell, under sentencing guidelines, could have given him anywhere from 92 to 115 months. The government was okay with the lower end of those guidelines. Pannell went slightly above the 92 months partly because Nida’s type of white criminal crime, he said on the stand, has a high rate of recidivism.
Nida, dressed in a tan suit and wearing a beard and mustache, questioned the 96-month sentence and appeared annoyed after the hearing. “The government did what they had to do,” Nida said before entering the elevator the downtown federal courthouse. When asked if he was unhappy about the sentence, he said, “Whatever the judge gave.”
“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,” said Reginald G. Moore, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office, in a press release.
Nida’s attorney Thomas Bever attempted to get the sentence reduced due to Nida’s poor upbringing but Pannell felt that was not a big enough factor given Nida’s age (35).
He did recommend that Nida be placed close to Atlanta for the benefit of his family, which includes two sons with Parks.
Bever said after the hearing that Nida could potentially get out more than a year early for good behavior and sent to a halfway house.
Nida was in state prison for six years, from 2003 to 2009, for a RICO charge related to a car theft scheme. He began his new white-collar criminal actions soon after he got out of prison in 2009. During his May sentencing, he took full responsibility for his actions but said he did it because he felt pressure to make money to keep up his wife’s high-profile attorney income and “Real Housewives” salary.