Abby Lee Miller Guilty: ‘Dance Moms’ Could Be Canceled With Controversial Dance Coach Headed To Jail

Abby Lee Miller pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud on Monday, and the Dance Moms star could now face up to two years in prison — and her reality show could face cancellation.

The reality television star was accused of hiding thousands of dollars of Australian currency that she brought to the United States and then concealing it from bankruptcy proceedings. Miller had arranged a plea bargain to plead guilty to one count of concealing bankruptcy assets and another county of structuring international monetary transactions.

Authorities said the Dance Moms star was actually hiding $775,000 of income when she filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with more than $120,000 stuffed into plastic bags that was mixed in with their luggage when returning to the United States in August 2014, ABC News reported.

Abby Lee Miller had been brazen about the crime, Radar Online reported, including admitting the scheme in text messages to staff members.

“We have all this foreign cash,” the 49-year-old wrote. “Need a little money laundering.”

Abby Lee Miller had admitted to the fraud and said it was a mistake.

As ABC News noted, there is some disagreement as to how long Miller could be behind bars.

“Miller was scheduled for sentencing Oct. 11, though the date could be moved pending the outcome of another, similar bankruptcy case now before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that could affect her sentence. Prosecutors said guidelines call for a sentence of 24 to 30 months, but the defense contends that her creditors incurred no loss, meaning the sentence could range from probation to up to six months.”

Dance Moms is centered around the Abby Lee Dance Company’s Junior Elite Competition Team, a group of pre-teen girls who travel to dance competitions nationwide. The show depicts the tribulations of life as a dancer and the bickering that can take place between parents and often with Miller herself.

Abby Lee Miller is seen as a strict dance coach who often uses harsh criticism to motivate the dancers, including a controversial weekly ranking of dancers.

But Miller has also admitted that some of the harsh persona is just for the cameras. In a 2011 interview with TV Guide, Miller said she had never used a weekly ranking in her studio until producers proposed the idea.

“I’ve never done that in my life,” Miller said. “That has nothing to do with me. That’s the show. They came up with that whole process.”

It was actually her role on Dance Moms that got Abby Lee Miller into trouble. A bankruptcy judge happened to see the reality television star when flipping through the channels in December, 2012, ABC News reported. The judge figured that Miller must be making more than the $8,899 she had claimed in monthly income, and it led to an investigation that found she made more than $228,000 between Dance Moms and her own spin-off, Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition.

There are now renewed rumors that Dance Moms could be canceled after Miller’s guilty plea. There had been reports last year, as the sixth season began filming, that Lifetime could pull the plug on the show amid Miller’s unfolding legal drama.

TV Series Finale compared the situation to that of 19 Kids and Counting, which was dumped after controversy surrounding Josh Duggar.

“Lifetime has not spoken out about the series or a possible cancellation, but other networks have cancelled or pulled reality shows off the air when the stars of the series face legal troubles. For example, TLC pulled 19 Kids and Counting off the air amidst the Duggar family scandal earlier this year.”

While Abby Lee Miller will wait to learn her sentence for the guilty plea, Lifetime has not announced whether Dance Moms could be canceled.

[Image via Lifetime]

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