Reality star and recording artist Big Freedia has spent the last several months dealing with the fallout from a welfare fraud case that positioned the entertainer to owe big bucks. Well today a verdict was finally reached in the case, and let’s just say that Big Freedia has a lot to smile about regarding the outcome.
Many fans were shocked when it was revealed that despite a successful reality show and recording career, singer Big Freedia was accused of welfare fraud and admitted to it in court back in the spring. The details surrounded the case have been kept rather quite, but now that a verdict has been reached the terms of the case have been revealed, as reported by Love B. Scott.
Via Love B. Scott:
U.S. District Judge Lance Africk ordered [Big Freedia] to serve community service and pay a $35,000 fine. “Please do not mistake kindness for weakness,” Africk said, warning Big Freedia to avoid a relapse into substance abuse. “You have the advantage of not only keeping yourself healthy and unaddicted but also acting as a role model for others.”
Big Freedia, whose real name is Freddie Ross Jr., pleaded guilty in March to stealing nearly $35,000 in federal housing voucher money, admitting to fraudulently accepting Section 8 vouchers over a period of several years. Prosecutors said that Big Freedia, in her applications to the Housing Authority of New Orleans, claimed assets and income far below what she actually had been earning.
Big Freedia accepted responsibility for her crime after releasing an initial statement in which she suggested that financial illiteracy had prompted her to accept the housing voucher money. On Thursday, she told Africk she was “very embarrassed” by her decision to underreport her income. “I am at fault for my criminal conduct,” she said. She faced a maximum of 10 years in prison but a far lesser penalty under federal sentencing guidelines.
Thankfully this case turned out for the better and now Big Freedia can get back to entertaining fans through the Fuse network reality and infectious dance music from the self-proclaimed Queen of Bounce.
Check out today’s Top Stories here: