Big Freedia sentenced for Section 8 fraud

Freddie Ross, Jr., better known as Big Freedia, arrives at federal court in New Orleans March 16 to enter a plea in the case against him for Section 8 voucher fraud. (Photo: WWL)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WWL-TV) – Bounce artist and reality TV star Big Freedia was sentenced to three years probation and a $35,000 fine for stealing thousands in Section 8 low-income housing vouchers between 2010 and 2014.

Known as the “Queen of Bounce” for popularizing the unique form of New Orleans rap called bounce music around the world, Big Freedia’s real name is Freddie Ross Jr.

Freedia apologized to supporters, saying, “I am at fault for my criminal conduct.”

Freedia, who tested positive for marijuana in April and May, according to the U.S Attorney’s Office, then tested positive for marijuana and methamphetamine on June 21, was warned by Judge Lance Africk not to fail another drug test.

He previously pleaded guilty and admitted to taking vouchers he knew he didn’t qualify for and was released on a $25,000 bond and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 16.

Freedia faced a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, as well as having to pay back the value of the stolen vouchers.

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