Big Freedia found herself in hot water earlier this year when reports revealed that the rising Bounce music star had committed welfare fraud and was accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the government. For months, Freedia was facing the possibility of spending major time in jail, as well as fines totaling multiple times what she stole in welfare checks. However, it looks like it’s Freedia’s lucky day because a judge has decided to let Freedia off without any jail time.
As previously reported, the drama all began back in March when Freedia was charged with stealing more than $34K worth of Section 8 vouchers by the U.S. Attorney’s Office from 2010 to 2014, when her income exceeded the federal subsidized housing limit thanks to her growing success.
Freedia immediately pleaded guilty to the charges and was released on a $25K bond. Freedia was reportedly facing up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250K when she faced sentencing. However, as a part of the deal, Freedia was also ordered to attend drug rehab treatment and submit to continued drug testing by a probation officer.
However, Freedia hurt her chances for walking away a free rapper when she failed three drug tests and tested positive for marijuana and methamphetamine even after being sent to rehab. Freedia was then sent to a halfway house and many assumed that she’d end up in prison over her crimes.
However, according to new reports, Freedia went into the U.S. District Court yesterday for sentencing and U.S. District Judge Lance Africk decided to go easy on Freedia and sentenced her to probation for three years, ordered her to pay a $35,000 fine and then sternly warned her not to relapse on her substance abuse.
“Please do not mistake kindness for weakness,” the judge said. “You have the advantage of not only keeping yourself healthy and unaddicted but also acting as a role model for others.”
According to reports, Freedia told the judge that she’s “very embarrassed” that she understated her income to the government and she admitted again that “I am at fault for my criminal conduct.”
Freedia’s lawyer, Vinny Mosca, also explained that Freedia can show that she’s a changed woman and help her community even further.
“Freedia is New Orleans, and she’s determined to make a career here and elsewhere,” Mosca said. “This is very embarrassing for her, so basically it gives her an opportunity now to regroup to show the community that she’s back to help them.”