Nida entered his
plea in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Georgia. The charges could send Nida, 35, to prison for up to 30 years and
result in a fine of up to $1 million on top of restitution for the estimated $2.3
million he allegedly defrauded various individuals, financial institutions and
A sentencing hearing has been set for July 8, 2014.
Last month, Nida’s co-conspirator, Gayla St. Julien, received a 61-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: Beginning in August 2009, Nida, of Atlanta, and others conspired to commit mail, wire, and bank fraud. The conspirators obtained stolen checks by stealing them or buying them from other criminal associates. The stolen checks involved in the scheme included United States Treasury Checks, as well as checks stolen from the pension fund of Delta Airlines.
Additionally, the conspirators obtained funds by filing fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service and making fraudulent claims against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and at least eleven states, all in the names of victims whose identities had been stolen.
Many of these checks were mailed to a large network of mailboxes rented by the conspirators at UPS Stores in the Northern District of Georgia and throughout the nation, for eventual forwarding to the conspirators. The conspirators also obtained fraudulent auto loans secured by vehicles that they had no ownership interest in whatsoever. To convince banks to issue these loans, Nida and his conspirators created fake documents and websites appearing to belong to legitimate auto dealerships.
Once the conspirators obtained the stolen checks, they laundered them through numerous victim financial institutions. Often, the conspirators laundered the checks by opening bank accounts in the names of the payees listed on the face of the checks. This involved impersonating each payee and stealing his or her identity. The conspirators prepared for these impersonations by researching their victims using databases like LexisNexis and Equifax, to which they obtained access through fake collection agencies they had opened as part of the scheme. Sometimes, the conspirators negotiated checks by laundering them in bulk through accounts which appeared to belong to legitimate businesses, such as one in the name “Signature Tax Collections.”
Nida said he felt pressure to keep up financially with Parks, who was making far more money than he. He cited a $600,000 contract for Parks, but didn’t say how long that contract was to last. Opting for the illegal scheme, Nida told his wife that he was operating a legitimate debt recovery firm and never let her know what was really going on.
As The AJC reports, Nida felt the pressures to “sustain a lifestyle” befitting of a reality show star. Due in part to such, he couldn’t stop the scheme, stating, “I got sucked in and engulfed and lost sight of things.”
“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” concluded its season with a third reunion show this past Sunday with a best-ever reunion rating of 4.3 million viewers.