Big Freedia Has Been Charged With Theft Of Government Funds

The bounce artist calls the charge “an oversight.”

Bounce artist and Beyoncé collaborator Big Freedia has been charged with theft of government funds by the U.S. attorney's office in New Orleans, reports Billboard via Pitchfork.

Freedia is accused of lying about her income between 2010 and 2014 in order to stay in government subsidized housing as well as stealing money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Freedia called the situation “an oversight” in a statement to Pitchfork:

“This is an incredibly unfortunate situation. I was on subsidized housing for many years before my financial situation changed. I quickly found myself in a new economic structure and, frankly, knew little about how to handle my money. It wasn’t until recently (after I had stopped receiving housing vouchers) that it became very clear I had received assistance to which I wasn’t entitled. It was an oversight—but one that I take full responsibility for. From the moment I was contacted by Government agents, I have fully cooperated and have already begun making arrangements to pay full restitution (of approximately $34,000).

“Housing vouchers are a vital lifeline for many people I know in New Orleans and around the country, including struggling artists. I truly believe there needs to be more programs for artists and musicians to teach basic financial literacy and planning. Coming from where I came from, I know that I could have used that kind of assistance. I’m exploring ways to be a part of the solution in this area and am looking forward to putting this matter behind me.”

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Big Freedia Has Been Charged With Theft Of Government Funds