I Can’t Get No Satisfaction: Phaedra, Apollo & the $1.9M Restitution Mess  

Posted on Sep 5 2014 - 11:14am by Stacy Slotnick, Esq.

Apollo

British rocker Mick Jagger and Real Housewives of Atlanta’s, Apollo E. Nida have something in common: Neither the hip-swinging Rolling Stones frontman nor the reality star’s dozens of victims can get satisfaction even if they try and try and try and try.

The Restitution Order

The estranged husband of RHOA’s Phaedra Parks will begin serving an eight-year prison sentence on September 10 at the FMC Lexington prison as a result of his four-year plot involving bank, mail and wire fraud, and identity theft. Apollo filed fraudulent tax returns with the IRS and made duplicitous claims against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and at least 11 states, all in the names of victims whose identities had been stolen. 

The 35-year-old reality star has been ordered to pay restitution to the victims of his various crimes, including the State of California, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Delta Airlines Inc., and the U.S. Treasury, in the amount of $1,948,214.85.  Restitution is typically ordered for direct, out-of-pocket expenses only, which here might include deductible amounts required for insurance coverage and reimbursement due to theft or fraudulent use of monetary funds.  

Below is a complete summary of Apollo Nida’s Restitution owed:

Apollo Nida Restitution Order - Watermark Apollo Nida Restitution Order 2 - Watermark Apollo Nida Restitution Order 3 - Watermark

Apollo’s restitution is “due and payable immediately,” as per court documents.  Any money the certified fitness trainer makes in prison will be paid directly to the restitution fund.  Any portion of the criminal monetary debt that remains unpaid at the time he is released shall be paid at the monthly rate of at least $250.00 plus 25% of gross monthly income in excess of $2,300, according to the order signed July 16.  The restitution fine has also been hit with a lien ordering Apollo to have the full amount paid off within 20 years.  If it is not, the interest on the lien will be raised to 25% of the principal amount.  

Some are left to ponder how a swindler could fool his victims out of staggering $2.3M and be forced to pay a fraction of that back.  I suppose the court, like Neiman Marcus or the Gap, was having a midsummer clearance sale and decided to give Apollo a discount worth more than $350,000. 

The Unsatisfactory Truth About Restitution Orders

Restitution fines, like Kenya Moore’s botched prop theatrics on the Season 6 reunion, have more bark than bite. Restitution remains one of the most underenforced aspects of the criminal justice system. 

Equally alarming is the fact courts lower restitution judgments frequently in cases where the judge is convinced the criminal party would be unable to afford paying the entire restitution judgment.  Will Apollo’s restitution order be modified, much to the chagrin of the State of New York and Georgia’s Own Credit Union?  

The Woman Behind the Man: Phaedra Parks

At first blush, it appears Apollo, who is worth a reported $250,000, cannot satisfy the nearly $2M restitution judgment. Phaedra Parks, however, is a well-known entertainment lawyer whose net worth is an estimated $2M.  The legal eagle stars in a popular television show for which she purportedly receives $300,000 a season; her home in the Atlanta suburb of Smyrna is listed for $349,900; and the no holds barred attorney regularly transports her wares in pricey Gucci handbags.  A pauper she is not. 

While there are rumors Phaedra is divorcing the father of her two young sons to escape having to help pay back his nearly $2M restitution penalty, the former Fox News legal analyst can run but can she can’t hide. In a criminal case, the government has the right to tap into an innocent spouse’s assets to pay restitution, regardless of whether the spouse knew of the criminal activities. Numerous courts have also held that where the innocent spouse benefitted from a spouse’s wrongdoing, he or she would ultimately have to make restitution of funds received. (Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme victims had a claim on assets shared with his wife, Ruth Madoff, which were purchased with ill-gotten gains.)

Phaedra Parks is no dummy (as can be gleaned from the numerous accolades strategically advertised on her law firm’s website) but smart people do stupid things.  If she had any reason to believe Apollo engaged in misconduct during the marriage, she should have consulted with the government before criminal damages were incurred.  Doing so could have limited her financial liability.  Now, it may be too late.  

Satisfaction?

Some of Apollo’s victims might also look to their insurance carriers and/or third parties to help satisfy the judgment. Many states authorize restitution to any entity that has provided recovery to the wounded as a collateral source, such as victim compensation programs, government bodies, and victim service agencies. 

JudgmentMarketplace.com, which is like the eBay of unpaid judgments, gives creditors an online forum to sell uncollected debts. For instance, the website lists the $9M wrongful death judgment against O.J. Simpson on behalf of Ronald Goldman’s mother, who is asking for at least $1M. The judgment has accumulated more than $15M in interest, according to the site. 

Sources report Apollo has gathered a team of writers to help him craft a tell-all autobiography ahead of his imminent incarceration. However, in the event he receives an advance of $4,000 to $10,000, he will have to pay that money back.  (Just what Apollo needs, another creditor looking over his shoulder.) Any publisher that offers Apollo a contract where he will collect 10 to 15% royalties off each sale is the equivalent of $1.25 to $2.50 per book. Therefore he better include truckloads of salacious material if his victims have any hope of seeing a dime from his forthcoming book sales.

The future does not look peachy for Phaedra, Apollo, or Apollo’s victims. Grab your gavel, use your commonsense, and join the conversation.  You be the judge and tell me what you think about this $1.9M mess.   

 

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About the Author

Stacy Slotnick, a.k.a. The Foxy Jurist, holds a J.D., cum laude, from Touro Law Center and a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst Commonwealth Honors College. Stacy is the recipient of the Honors Deans Award; Simon and Satenig Ermonian Memorial Scholarship; College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Opportunity Scholarship; and College of Humanities and Fine Arts Scholarship. She is also a William F. Field Alumni Scholar, an honor bestowed upon the most academically distinguished students. In law school, Stacy won two CALI Excellence For The Future Awards® and received an Achievement Scholarship. She is a member of the New York Bar. As an entertainment lawyer, Stacy counsels clients on contracts, branding, and public relations strategy. She negotiates with agents, producers, production companies, and lawyers to secure rights to projects on behalf of high-profile clients. Her clever, spirited, no holds barred legal analysis can be found in articles for The Huffington Post. * Facebook   * LinkedIn   * Twitter

  • Marsbars09

    Great article Stacy!
    I swear, Apollo is such a loser to steal from all those people and entities. I doubt he will satisfy his full debt.
    As for Phaedra, I really hope she is forced to shell out some cash to help pay back Apollo’s victims. I find if hard to believe she had no knowledge of his crimes.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Totally agree. It feels unjust and wrong for a wealthy spouse to escape having to pay restitution when the funds were fraudulently acquired DURING the marriage.

  • WestCoastFeed

    Thank you, Stacy. Very interesting. And it doesn’t appear that there is much Phaedra can do right now to escape having to cough up at least part of the restitution.

    Now, a question. I just read this morning that Apollo is rushing to get an autobiography finished before his Sept 10th date with the penitentiary. Is there a legal reason he needs to get this done before he is imprisoned?

    • Stacy Slotnick

      He is probably rushing to get the skeleton of his book done, if the reports are true, so that his ghostwriters do not need to consult with him again while he is in prison where access to him might be limited. Also, while physically free he can provide his writing team with all the documents they need to form a narrative. Strategically, yes, there is a reason to rush to get this book written as he may not be relevant in 6-8 months. You gotta strike when the iron is hot!

      • WestCoastFeed

        Thanks, certainly makes sense to get in done before his access is limited. And while he is still in the news.

  • CoolBreeze14

    Smh! That’s if he makes it out alive out of prison! Apollo is a public figure so he’s bound to be a target. You can bet it will not end well for neither Apollo or Phaedra.

    Happy Friday folks!

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Happy Friday @CoolBreeze14:disqus! Let’s hope his well-being is intact while he serves his sentence so that the second he comes out he can start paying back his victims. Whether its Starbucks or Google (yeah, right), there is total respectability with an honest day’s pay.

  • Awesome job, Stacy!

    Apparently, Apollo didn’t get the memo about the downfall of all of those execs that committed similar white collar crimes within their companies.

    I’m glad to know Phaedra can’t weasel her way out of this mess by divorcing Apollo.

    Thank you for addressing the “tell-all” book he’s supposedly writing. I assumed any advances and/or profits earned would have to go to his creditors.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Exactly! Glad you enjoyed.

  • RealitytvJunkie

    Great article Stacy!

    Happy Friday All.

    Thanks for clarifying that since Phaedra is married to Apollo, she is stuck with paying out of her pocket. It’s only fitting since I believe she was the mastermind behind the scam.

  • RonnieIsBack

    Great article..AllAboutTheTea delivers again!!!
    I’m still shocked that “at the end of the day” Apollo is worth $250,000
    Happy Friday!!!!

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Thanks @RonnieIsBack:disqus! Glad you liked it! Shocked in a good way or bad? Surprised he has 250K to his name?

      • RonnieIsBack

        LOL both.

  • RonnieIsBack

    Big scoop..Peter Thomas is pissed at Iyanla V…all on twitter..

    • WestCoastFeed

      And Jim Marchese just tweeted a pic of the letter showing that he did pass the NJ bar exam, after all.

      • Stacy Slotnick

        Lest the eyes not be deceived. Is that an official NJ Board of Bar Examiner’s letter? Have you examined it closely? My NY BOLE letter had perforations and the NYS seal. I’m just saying, don’t judge a book by its cover until you’ve had a chance to examine it carefully. The best, irrefutable evidence of bar passage will come from the NJ Bar website and/or the newspaper that publishes the names of those who passed the bar in July and Feb.

        • Stacy Slotnick
          • WestCoastFeed

            Looks like Lexis/Nexus required to search? I’m tech impaired. He is claiming he was notified by email, so there is no seal on the letter.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Except for the fact that you get two notifications…one via email which does have the seal and one hard copy. Based on public record of successful bar examiners (this is what NJ labels it), he is not a licensed attorney nor is there evidence he passed the bar exam.

          • WestCoastFeed

            He admits to not submitting the paperwork to be licensed.

          • distressed

            It’s like trying to catch smoke in your hands with these people it’s so infuriating.

        • RonnieIsBack

          Exactly…was he ever given a bar number?

          • Stacy Slotnick

            The fact is the list of licensed attorneys is a matter of public record. If you Google an attorney’s name, you are able to find out where they are licensed to practice.

          • RonnieIsBack

            Yup.

      • distressed

        Excellent to know, thanks.

  • Trippinhhard

    Good report n detailed.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Thanks @trippinhhard:disqus. The devil is in the details, and too many publications gloss over the facts and the law. Thanks for the compliments.

      • Trippinhhard

        You are so correct about flossing over the truth. Thank u for a complete report on this crook. Doesn’t hurt KNOWING the law n being a lawyer..

        • RonnieIsBack

          Which is why I love this site!!!!

          • Trippinhhard

            Touché

  • RealitytvJunkie

    Question for the Stacy:

    Phaedra Parks did a recent deposition where she perjured herself. Can she be brought up on criminal charges and lose her law license?

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Good question @lena_2_0:disqus. Here’s the short of it: If an attorney lies under oath they could get a warning or be suspended but disbarment is highly unlikely. A person convicted of perjury under federal law may face up to five years in prison and fines. The punishment for perjury under state law varies from state to state, but perjury is a felony and carries a possible prison sentence of at least one year, plus fines and probation. In order to be guilty of perjury, you must have intentionally lied under oath.

      • distressed

        What did Nixon say to John Dean (paraphrase), “perjury is a tough one John, it’s hard to prove.”

  • nan/4

    Thank-you Stacy! It’s so nice to have you and your expertise here at AAtT. Welcome! 🙂

    Hi all. Hope you are well…. 😉

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Thanks @nsga4:disqus. I am thrilled to bring all you awesome AATT readers interesting and helpful legal analysis. I much appreciate your kind words.

  • Birdie11

    Will this autobiography back up Angela Stanton and implicate Phae? That would be worth a looksie. I assume that’s what ‘tell all’ is? Who cares about reading about an uneducated prison rat if he doesn’t connect the dots in this mess.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      That is an excellent point and Apollo can up his asking price if he can deliver not only a compelling (and true) narrative but docs that back up his story. That evidence in theory could be used in a case against Phaedra. I say true, of course, because Apollo should steer clear of defaming anyone.

  • nan/4

    OT: I’m having the growth biopsied on Monday. Think good thoughts, okay?

    You all mean so much to me. I just wanted you to know that.

    Take good care my friends!

    • WestCoastFeed

      You know we will all be thinking of you and keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Keep positive!!

      • nan/4

        Thank you all so much. It’s just that something that was supposed to be routine is now becoming scary! I was told that anytime they have to go near lymph nodes, a biopsy has to be done. That means going to a cancer specialist when just that word makes me ill, you know? Too many bad memories. Just knowing that you care means more to me than words could ever express. You’re the BEST!

        xo

    • Jennymckitty

      Nan, plenty of good thoughts from me! Let us know how you are doing. I’ll be thinking of you.

    • Birdie11

      My thoughts and prayers Nan! You are supported here!

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Be well @nsga4:disqus. All our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • Trippinhhard

      Good luck Nan/4

    • nan/4

      I put my reply in the wrong place! Oy Vey….Okay, one more time!

      Thank you ALL so much. It’s just that something that was supposed to be routine is now becoming scary! I was told that anytime they have to go near lymph nodes, a biopsy has to be done. That means going to a cancer specialist when that word alone makes me ill, you know? Too many bad memories. But knowing that you care means more to me than words could ever express. You’re the BEST!

      Nancy
      xo

      • RonnieIsBack

        I didn’t know…you are in my prayers dearest Nan!!!!!

    • Sending positive thoughts your way. We all will keep you in our thoughts. Please keep us updated. Love ya Nan.

      • nan/4

        Thanks Doc! You’re one special lady, my friend, and don’t you ever forget it!!!!

        Love ya right back Doc.

        Be well honey!!! 🙂

    • Harleygirl0685

      You will be in my thoughts!

    • Tre’s a Convicted Felon

      Love YOU Nan and you know this fan base is always hoping for the best for all of our girls and guys.
      Angels always there for YOU! Just ask them and they love to help.

  • Stacy Slotnick

    Hi my loves (AATT readers/posters/fans/followers), I am off to an event but I will be back this evening 9pm EST the latest to provide more provocative and newsy legal info on everything from Apollo Nida and Phaedra Parks to Jim Marchese. Ask me anything! Keep posting your thoughts! Until we speak again, I hope everyone has a great evening!!!

    • Enjoy your evening, Stacy. Thank you for an informative well-written blog.

      • Stacy Slotnick

        Thank you @Dr_Suess:disqus! I hope you have a marvelous evening as well.

  • italiano bambino

    These the FAB CROOKS bravo hired?

    • distressed

      Bravo seems to have hired a serious amount if shady characters. From fraud, to bankruptcies, to divorces, to plain old posers living large off of credit cards. The list goes on and on. So far though, I think Apollo has the most jail time given Juicy’s plea in NJ he certainly won’t be able to surpass this high water mark. So at least he’s achieved that distinction. Apollo, you’re number one.

  • italiano bambino

    Great article stacy and AATT

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Your feedback is much appreciated, @italianobambino:disqus. We are glad you enjoyed the article! We are trying to shed a light on the legal system in a way no other website has.

      • Harleygirl0685

        You certainly have succeeded ! Thank you!

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Thank you for the compliment. Glad you enjoyed, @harleygirl0685:disqus. Have a super Saturday!

          • distressed

            Superlative work. I had to make a separate folder for bookmarks from your work here. Done

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Boy did you provide me with a big smile this (early) morning. I promise to continue to strive to bring you all good content with a smart and witty edge.

  • BuckJohnson

    I think Phaedra believes she outfoxed the govt., she didn’t. They are going after her assets she should have started long ago separating her stuff and really divorcing him. She’s to late now.

    • Exactly. Loving your comments and insight. The problem with Phaedra is, she’s too smart for her own good. People like her eventually slip up. As the saying goes…. no dirty deed goes unpaid for.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Here is the kicker: These are not dumb victims. Delta Airlines, the IRS, and Los Angeles County have counsel right now who are figuring out ways to go after Phaedra’s money.

  • Apollo is a life time criminal who never stopped committing felonies since he was 15 yrs old and now the punishment for his current crimes is 8 yrs out in 6? and never having to answer to the 10 years remaining on his parole that Apollo owes………..and basically he can file bankruptcy and not really pay any money to his victims. ??

    • Stacy Slotnick

      I know. The criminal justice system in the U.S. is far from perfect. The fact that he is a recidivist felon should have precipitated a tougher sentence. This really gets me: “Unfortunately, as a practical matter a defendant who has no money or potential to make money is unlikely to make meaningful restitution to the victims of a crime.” That statement is from the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Georgia. So basically victims are SOL? This is why his victims should, like Bernie Madoff’s victims, be able to go after the innocent spouse’s assets.

  • @TheFoxyJurist <—GREAT BLOG – VERY IN DEPTH

    How will Phaedra's pre-nup play into this ?

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Thanks @DoxingRx:disqus. The pre-nup has set forth what property is to be distributed in what way/amount in the event of divorce. If the property is solely owned by Phaedra he can’t touch he and neither can the Feds (probably).

      • distressed

        Doxing – Rx beat me to it. D’oh. I should have read the whole thread before asking my question, I was just so excited to see you Ms. Slotnick I might have jumped the gun a bit.

  • all about theft

    learn how to properly credit others by linking assholes.
    this site is a joke. you copied Rox’s name loosers.

  • Tre’s a Convicted Felon

    Stacy, every time I read one of your articles, I can’t help but feel the love the honchos of this site like to provide for us commenters.
    Seriously, to have a prestigious attorney, such as yourself, here to get down to the nitty gritty inside legal stuff on these RHW widgets, is such a fabulous asset to this site.
    You educate us, with not only interesting information but it’s entertaining and pertinent as well. And it’s the stuff we are all interested in because we are probably a smarter than average group of commenters (I’d like to think so anyway).
    Lucky US!

    • distressed

      I echo all your remarks here. And I might add, no other site that I go to for gossip, recaps or whatever has done this. Not one.

      • Stacy Slotnick

        One of the reasons I was thrilled to be a part of the AATT family is that they offer substance regarding these interesting and fascinating reality TV shows. I’m thrilled you feel as though we blend the best of both worlds–gossip and the law! My work with celebrities and media commentators has given me a good foundation to talk about these issues in a way that is hopefully exciting to you all! Thanks again!

    • Stacy Slotnick

      I cannot thank you enough for your kind and thoughtful remarks. It brings me tremendous pleasure to be able to share my legal insight and learn from you what about the law interests you and makes you tick. I am also so pleased that AATT does a genius job of breaking down these shows in a way that is smart and fun. Reality TV characters give us a lot to consider and evaluate. Thank you again for your wonderful comments.

      • Tre’s a Convicted Felon

        It was my pleasure.

  • distressed

    Thank you Stacy, another amazing, funny well researched article that gives us SOL viewers some much needed context for what we’re seeing. Funny is hard. And everything here is just … thank you.

    First of all, I missed this again, oh bother, in the future do you anticipate posting your articles on Fridays?

    Second of all, I was extremely interested in the section that pertains to “innocent” spouses of someone ordered to pay restitution. Could a pre-nup possibly negate Phaedra’s liability? She’s a lawyer, she must have known she was taking a risk with this man when she walked down the aisle.

    Slightly off topic and not a question Stacy. Anyone see the house husbands of Atlanta show. Apollo was itching and complaining about he got Phaedra a beautiful car with all the fixins’ and she wouldn’t accept it. So was she assuming that the car may have been creatively purchased?

    • Stacy Slotnick

      As Tre would say, “Love love love,” not that I want to be quoting Mrs. Giudice anytime soon. But in all sincerity, as Ramona Singer says even when use of that statement is grammatically erroneous, I appreciate the wonderful feedback!! It brings me great joy to be a part of this AATT family and share my legal perspectives.

      As for your excellent questions, a pre-nup cannot negate liability in a civil or criminal lawsuit. You cannot contract away your liability as part of a prenuptial agreement. Moreover, the existence alone of a pre-nup does not mean it is enforceable. A judge could toss the agreement for a number of reasons, including lack of transparency between the contracting parties. Might there have been a clause in the agreement pertaining to liability? If Phaedra included such a paragraph, that would prove she had anticipated her husband’s shady dealings so much so to include a clause about restitution in the contract. Note to contracting parties: Be careful what you include in contracts.

      I absolutely agree that she probably knew she was taking a risk with Apollo, but I found it interesting she said his prior crimes were similar to those of Martha Stewart. That alone makes her seem like she is in denial because she is excusing his behavior. She may have been a woman in love and was not thinking with her head…..clearly.

      Great point about the car Apollo purchased that she would not accept. Even if she was a truly innocent spouse, they are still married and were legally wed when the fraud was perpetrated. No question these victims will go after her money. Whether they get it is another story but she is not a sympathetic spouse. Ruth Madoff had no education and even her assets were seized as part of restitution order. Phaedra is a top-ranked lawyer who should’ve known what her husband was doing. An innocent spouse she is not.

      Usually my articles will post on Fridays. Definitely check out @TheFoxyJurist on Twitter and AATT for updates on when my pieces will be published.

  • RealitySuxx

    Great article!…but what I’d love to see is the Guidices finally get a date too. Tired of ALL these tv people slipping and sliding.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Thanks @RealitySuxx:disqus! You are not alone in your disenchantment with the legal system. People have a tough time reconciling why justice (sentencing) for the Giudices has been postponed several times while Apollo’s sentencing proceeded quickly and without drama. The short adjournment makes me think that the Giudices are getting their stuff in order, like wills, etc. and have asked for a little more time from the court. But that does not change our desire that justice operate swiftly and evenly, meaning if Apollo has to go to jail ASAP so should the Giudices.

      • Thank you Stacy! Explaining their criminal case reminds me of an oily pig….slippery, fast and frustrating. But you’re doing an outstanding job pinning down the pigs (with lipstick) in the mud. Your intellectual and witty explanations are nothing short of poetic. Bravo! 🙂

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Thanks Dr. Seuss as the feeling is entirely mutual. I am so impressed with the thoughtful questions and articulate opinions. I love your “pinning down the pigs (with lipstick)” statement. Just perfect and an entirely accurate description of this bed of Bravolebrities. Have a super day!

  • Stacy Slotnick

    Will the Giudices plea deal unfold like Apollo Nida’s? It doesn’t seem that way. Watch RHONJ tonight and let’s talk about the legal unraveling of these two bravolebrities!