Big Freedia Pleads Guilty In New Orleans Housing Aid Case

The U.S. attorney’s office in New Orleans says entertainer Big Freedia – legal name Freddie Ross Jr. – has pleaded guilty to theft of government funds.

Prosecutors said in court records filed Wednesday that the performer repeatedly gave false income information while applying for government housing assistance from 2009 through 2014. The theft amounted to more than $34,000.

The performer could be sentenced to 10 years in prison, but prosecutors are expected to seek a lighter penalty at a June 16 sentencing hearing.

When the charges were announced this month, Big Freedia released a statement saying she had been on federally subsidized housing for years before her financial situation improved.

Photo: John Davisson
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Fairgrounds Racecourse, New Orleans, La.

Big Freedia said the infraction was “an oversight” for which she takes full responsibility. She has agreed to make restitution.