ABC News’ Sandra Lee reports:
The “Real Housewives of Atlanta” is known for the over-the-top lifestyles and personalities of its leading ladies. But lately, it’s the real drama off-camera that has everyone talking.
The most recent scandal involves potential jail for the husband of one of the stars.
Phaedra Parks’ husband, Apollo Nida, was arrested and charged with bank fraud and identity theft.
According to federal court documents, Nida is accused of depositing millions in “stolen and fraudulently obtained checks,” “auto loan proceeds” and “US treasury checks” issued as tax refunds into some 40 bank accounts that had been opened allegedly using “stolen identities.”
“This is a really big deal for Apollo,” certified family law specialist, Steven Mindel, who is not connected to the case, told ABC News. “Any time that the federal government files criminal charges against you, you can expect they’re looking for jail time.”
The feds seized Nida’s laptop containing what court documents say are more than a thousand pieces of evidence potentially linking him to the alleged crimes.
He was released on $25,000 bond and is due in court next month.
This isn’t Nida’s first run-in with the law. He served time for racketeering charges before being released in 2009, something his wife has publicly addressed.
“Of course my husband did have a past,” Parks said on HLN last June. “Like I say on my show, ‘Every sinner has a past, every saint has a future.’”
But Parks, an attorney by trade who’s represented celebrities like Bobby Brown, has yet to speak out on her husband’s latest legal drama. The Bravo network isn’t commenting either.
The couple, married for four years with two small children, has been plagued by rumors of Nida’s marital infidelity as documented on the show, something he denies.
Just days ago on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live,” Nida defended his marriage.
“I love my wife and she’s been so supportive and I really love her and appreciate her for everything she’s done,” he said.
ABC News reached out to Nida but hasn’t heard back. We also reached out to Parks, but she has no comment at this time.
A preliminary hearing for Nida is set for Feb. 12. Incidentally, Parks and Nida joined the reality show six months after he was released from prison for those racketeering charges.