NEW ORLEANS -- Freddie Ross, Jr., also known as bounce artist "Big Freedia" lived in a small home in the 6000 block of Warrington Drive in the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans from 2010 through late 2014.
According to a federal Bill of Information, Ross lied about his income to receive Section 8 vouchers to help pay the rent there.
He is accused of stealing $34,000 worth of vouchers to which he was not entitled from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) declined to quantify the extent of Section 8 fraud in the city.
Instead, HANO spokeswoman Lesley Thomas released a statement saying, "Since returning to local control, HANO has made it a priority to ensure program compliance from not only residents but owners participating in the program. With the growing need for affordable housing in our community, it is vital that these scarce resources be available for those citizens truly in need of the assistance."
Some said instances of voucher fraud is not uncommon.
"I think we know that there are instances where people may be mistaken about whether or not they're entitled to the housing choice vouchers," said Cashauna Hill, Executive Director of the Fair Housing Action Center in New Orleans.
Hill says HANO needs to do more to stop fraud on both the consumer and supply sides of the equation.
"HANO is in some areas of the city paying more than $100 over what the average rental rates are in certain neighborhoods," Hill said.
Ross's attorney Tim Kappel says his client is prepared to plead guilty to theft of government funds.
He said Ross has been in discussions with federal investigators since December.
At that time, Kappel says Ross agreed to make full restitution, perform community service in the form of a benefit concert, raise money for a LGBT advocacy group and enroll in a financial literacy program.
Ross's initial appearance and arraignment are set for March 16 before federal Judge Lance Africk.
Tuesday, Ross issued a statement taking full responsibility but saying it was a mistake and not an intentional effort to steal federal assistance. He faces up to ten years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
HUD spokesman Scott Hudman released this statement about the section 8 voucher program: "HUD maintains zero tolerance for fraud in its programs. Not only does fraud harm the taxpayers, it keeps assistance from those who are truly deserving. The Department remains committed to providing affordable, decent housing to those in need and we will continue to submit possible cases of fraud to our Office of Inspector General and to the Department of Justice for warranted investigation and prosecution. In fact, anyone suspecting fraud in HUD programs can file a report with the Office of Inspector General by going to www.hudoig.gov or by calling 800-347-3735. The Inspector General will protect the identity of anyone reporting information if so requested."