There is big trouble for reality TV star Abigale Lee Miller, better known as Abby Lee Miller, the star of Dance Moms. Miller has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of bankruptcy fraud, concealment of bankruptcy assets, and false bankruptcy declarations. She is accused of hiding close to $1 million of her income.
According to WPXI, the 20-count indictment brought against Abby Lee Miller names her as the sole defendant.
The Post-Gazette states that the charges stem from Miller concealing her income from her performances on the show in the years of 2012 and 2013. The 50-year-old reality star, formerly of Penn Hills, is accused of hiding around $755,000 in income.
The Department of Justice issued a statement regarding the indictment and the charges brought against Abby Lee Miller.
“The indictment, handed up Tuesday, charges that when Ms. Miller reorganized her dance studio — the Abby Lee Dance Co. in Penn Hills — in December 2010, she schemed to defraud the bankruptcy court by hiding her income from the reality-TV, Lifetime show ‘Dance Moms’ and related spinoffs, as well as from dance sessions and merchandise sales.”
In the indictment, Miller is accused of creating bank accounts to hide the massive amounts of income. It also alleges that she instructed others to conceal certain income from the bankruptcy court so that they would not be aware of it.
With the 20 counts brought against her, Miller could face a possible sentence of five years in prison and some hefty fines. For each count of the indictment, Miller could end up receiving fines of $250,000.
Dance Moms is a very popular reality series on Lifetime that follows a group of competitive young dancers and the conflicts between their mothers. The series began in Pennsylvania and eventually ended up moving to Los Angeles in Season 5.
So far, there have actually been three spinoffs from Dance Moms, but Miller was not involved with all of them. Dance Moms: Miami premiered in April of 2012 but was cancelled by September. Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition began in late 2012 and ran for two seasons. In the middle of 2014, Abby’s Studio Rescue premiered.
Earlier this summer, KDramaStars reported that the original Dance Moms series may actually be in trouble. It was then that Abby Lee Miller said there would be a lot of twists in Season 5 and that she may actually leave the reality series.
Miller said at the time that some changes needed to be made before she signed another contract and moved forward with another season.
“Lifetime is a little in arrears on their payment plan with me personally, and so I think that will have to be taken care of first before we talk about season six.”
Immediately, numerous fans thought that the show would end up being cancelled, and Miller even said that “the producer threw me out” in the middle of taping Season 5. Obviously, Season 5 went on and was completed even though she said, “if they can do it without me, do it without me.”
Now, Miller has much bigger troubles on her hand, and it casts doubt on the continuation of Dance Moms as a whole.
Abby Lee Miller’s indictment on bankruptcy fraud is going to be something that’s much more important than whether Dance Moms continues on or not. The charges brought against her are incredibly serious and could result in jail time and serious fines.
[Images via Gabriel Olsen/Jason Merritt/Brendon Thorne]