It happened this past Thursday after a complaint was filed by the Atlanta office of the U.S. District Attorney’s office.
Here are some of the details, according to the fed’s complaint, which was obtained by Access Atlanta writer Rodney Ho:
Alexandre Herrera, a U.S. Secret Service Agent in the Counterfeit and U.S. Treasury Check Squad, in a written affidavit, charged that Nida created fake companies, enabling him to access databases to find individuals to rip off. He opened fake bank accounts under those real names and funneled stolen U.S. Treasury checks and auto loan proceeds into those accounts.
The agent in February 2012 began investigating alleged criminal activities of Gayla St. Julien, who he said was opening bank accounts under stolen identities to commit bank and check fraud. The investigation ran until September, 2013. At that point, they found 40 bank accounts tied to her. The complaint provided a sampling of bank accounts totaling about $3 million tied to alleged fraudulent activities.
The office also identified two fake debt-collection businesses used to “illicitly obtain personal identifying information of individuals.” The companies used LexisNexis and Equifax database inquiries to steal identities. St. Julien was arrested on Sept. 11, 2013 by the Secret Service. She implicated Nida as the man who orchestrated many of the alleged fraudulent schemes. She had worked with Nida since 2009.
St. Julien “described herself as NIDA’s ‘right hand bi*ch’ in executing the legwork of his fraud schemes,” Herrera wrote. She told him she received “scraps” compared to how much he pocketed.
Nida would allegedly steal real people’s identities and have St. Julien pretend to be them to open bank accounts. She would then deposit fraudulent auto loan checks, stolen U.S. Treasury checks, stolen retirement checks issued to Delta Airlines employees, and checks in the names of real people that were owed unclaimed property from various state and federal government agencies, according to the criminal complaint.
Geez, this guy is straight out of Central Casting’s crook/scam department. But no, he’s real. In fact, Nida’s no stranger to jail. He served time from 2004 to 2009 for breaking federal racketeering laws related to auto title fraud. He and Parks, a lawyer, were married the year he was released and they have 2 kids.
As far as the current charges go, Nida was released on a pretrial bond of $25,000 and a preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 12, 2014.