'Dance Moms' Star Abby Lee Miller Pleads Guilty To Bankruptcy Fraud & Violating Currency Reporting Laws
On Monday in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania courtroom, Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller pleaded guilty to one count of bankruptcy fraud and one count of failing to report more than $10,000 worth of U.S. dollars' worth of Australian currency into the states, her lawyer confirmed to Entertainment Tonight. As ET reports, the Lifetime reality star has been charged with 20 counts of alleged bankruptcy fraud, concealing assets, and one criminal count involving international monetary information. According to Judge Terrence McVerry, if convicted of the charges, Miller could face a maximum of six to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000.
"Throughout this case, Ms. Miller has taken both the allegations and the proceedings very seriously," her attorney Robert Ridge told ET in a statement. "This has been a challenging time for Ms. Miller. She appreciates the words of encouragement and support from around the world."
Ridge also revealed that her sentencing will take place on Oct. 11 in Pittsburgh, "after the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit resolves United States Vs. Free, a similar case addressing the issue of sentencing in a 'zero loss' bankruptcy." ET reports that a pre-sentencing investigation will be conducted, but at this time, Miller will remain free on bond and will also be allowed to travel until her sentencing date.
In October 2015, Miller was first indicted on bankruptcy fraud charges and was accused of trying to hide approximately $755,492.82 worth of income from Dance Moms and related spinoff TV shows from 2012 to 2013, as well as Masterclass dance sessions and merchandise and apparel sales. Then, in November 2015, the 49-year-old owner of The Abby Lee Dance Company pled not guilty to the charges, paid a $10,000 bond, and asked for a jury trial. According to ET, it wasn't until June 2016 that federal prosecutors added a charge for allegedly violating currency reporting laws from her return to the U.S. in August 2014.
As for Miller's thoughts, she released the following statement on June 21 to ET via her lawyer:
Events over the past several months have been extremely challenging for me, my family, my friends and most important, my students. Because of this I made the very difficult decision to close the door on this chapter of my life by accepting responsibility for mistakes I have made along the way. I appreciate all the wonderful messages of support I've received from around the world and look forward to the future and getting back to my life's work; helping young dancers fulfill their potential.