Housing aid theft: probation for bounce artist Big Freedia
NEW ORLEANS - Bounce entertainer Big Freedia has been sentenced to three years' probation and fined $35,000 after admitting to bilking the federal government out of housing aid.
U.S. District Judge Lance Africk imposed the sentence Thursday. The 38-year-old artist pleaded guilty in March to the theft of federal Section 8 housing voucher funds and had faced up to 10 years in jail.
Africk told the performer, whose given name is Freddie Ross Jr., he was pleased with Ross' acceptance of responsibility and with treatment for substance abuse that has so far been successful.
Ross read a statement taking responsibility for the crime.
Attorney Vinny Mosca noted that Ross has already made restitution of more than $34,000 and has taken steps to be a better role model, including working with Habitat for Humanity.