New Orleans Bounce queen Big Freedia will not face jail time for her admitted involvelemt with section 8 housing fraud between 2010 and 2014.
U.S. District Judge Lance Africk sentenced Freedia to 3 years probation and a $35,000 fine for charges stemming from her providing inaccurate information related to her income and job status while applying for public housing assisatance, despite no longer meeting the requirements to qualify, according to CBS. Earlier this year, she revealed that she'd lived in public housing for years prior to becoming a successful entertainer and knew little about the correct way to handle her finances as a result.
"I’m getting my business together and I’m on the right track,” she told the judge."
Africk stated that he was pleased with Freedia's progress thus far during Thursday's sentencing hearing. He commended her for beginning substance abuse treatment, but also cautioned her earlier comments referring to the crime as "victimless." “It’s not a victimless crime,” Africk said, noting that the fraudulent use of aid money negatively affects those truly in need.
Freedia has already paid $34,000 of the $35,000 fine and has begun work with Habitat for Humanity as part of her efforts to become a better role model. She also revealed to Judge Africk that she is now drug free and has hired tax professionals to ensure that her financial matters are properly handled moving forward.