New Orleans bounce music artist Big Freedia was charged in federal court on Tuesday with lying about his income to fraudulently obtain Section 8 housing vouchers.
Freedia, whose full name is Freddie Ross, Jr., was charged with stealing more than $1,000 in vouchers to obtain subsidized housing for the years 2000 through 2014. The actual amount he stole could be significantly more.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged the openly gay hip hop artist with lying about his income to renew housing vouchers annually, even as he gained popularity and increased his income through sales of bounce music albums over the years.
Ross, 35, helped to spread the bounce music genre outside New Orleans with the help of bold name friends such as Monica Brown and Beyonce.
Ross, who dubbed himself "Queen of Bounce Music" and "Queen Diva", stars in his own popular reality TV series on the Fuse Network.
Ross plans to plead guilty at an initial court appearance on March 16th.