In a New Orleans federal courtroom this afternoon, Big Freedia, the New Orleans bounce-music queen, pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1,000 in housing vouchers. According to The Times-Picayune, during those years, she continued to accept federal housing assistance even though she was no longer poor enough to qualify it. She made a plea deal that will require her to pay $34,000 in restitution, and she could also face as much as 10 years in prison.
Freedia says that she’d been living subsidized housing for years before finding some measure of musical success and that she never meant to continue receiving assistance: “It was an oversight — but one I take full responsibility for.” U.S. District Judge Lance Afaik informed her that she’d made “much more than an oversight” and also informed her that, even with her plea deal, she could still face all that prison time, as well as a fine of up to $250,000. She’ll be sentenced in June.