Abby Lee Miller, former star of the Lifetime reality series Dance Moms, originally filed for bankruptcy in 2012. The case was nearly complete when Judge Agresti, who was in charge of her case, sat down one night after work to relax and watch a little television. Deadline Hollywood reported, as Judge Agresti was surfing through the channels, he came across the show Dance Moms.
Remembering the case that he had on his docket, Agresti inquired why Abby Lee Miller had failed to declare any income from the hit television series. One fateful night of channel surfing led to the 2015 indictment of Abby Lee Miller, who has waited until 2017 for her final sentencing date.As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Abby Lee Miller "neglected to claim her earnings from the show Dance Moms, which amounted to over $750,000. In addition to bankruptcy fraud, Miller was also accused, less than 12 months later, of using her Dance Moms cast of minor dancers to transport Australian currency over the U.S. border."
Even though the prosecutors are not seeking the maximum penalties in this case, if Miller is found guilty of fraud, she could potentially be sentenced to $5 million in fines and up to five years in prison. When U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton first announced the indictment of the former Dance Moms personality, he stated "criminal prosecution is appropriate when debtors corrupt the bankruptcy process through deceit and lies before the court."Prosecutors, in this case, say that Miller tried to deceive her creditors by hiding $775,000 worth of Dance Moms income from a bankruptcy judge. They are seeking 2.5 years of prison time. Miller's attorneys, however, declare her creditors were "made whole after the fraud was discovered so probation is more suitable."
Amidst the pressure of the court case, Abby Lee Miller continued to film seasons for the Lifetime show Dance Moms. She filmed seasons through 7b before writing a post on social media saying goodbye to her old life.
The majority of children that follow me may be fast asleep, however now is the critical time to make the following statement: I WILL NO LONGER TAKE PART IN DANCE MOMS. FOR THE PAST SIX YEARS/ SEVEN SEASONS I HAVE ASKED, BEGGED, AND EVEN DEMANDED CREATIVE CREDIT FOR ALL THE IDEAS, AWARD WINNING ROUTINES, THEMES, AND COSTUMING - TO NO AVAIL! TODAY, I WAS SO PROUD THAT I WENT AGAINST THE PRODUCER'S IDEA (ONCE AGAIN) TO ENTER A COMMAND PERFORMANCE OF ONE OF MY FAVORITE NUMBERS... "WHERE HAVE ALL THE CHILDREN GONE?" ALONG WITH THREE BEAUTIFUL SOLOS! I don't have a problem working with any kid, I love children and have dedicated my life to making other people's children successful! I JUST HAVE A PROBLEM WITH BEING MANIPULATED, DISRESPECTED, AND USED - DAY IN AND DAY OUT BY MEN WHO NEVER TOOK A DANCE LESSON IN THEIR LIVES AND TREAT WOMEN LIKE DIRT! #dancemoms #season7 #ALDC #aldcalways #newbeginnings #aldcla #alllovedancecourageIn January, both sides began sparring, and the case has been ongoing until today. Several character witnesses showed up to Miller's sentencing and, unfortunately for Abby, they were not there to show their support.
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"I'm here supporting the government," Christi Lukasiak, a previous star of Dance Moms told the Trib at the U.S. District Court. "Because I'm a tax-paying citizen in Pittsburgh."People Magazine sat down for an interview with Abby Lee Miller, where she conceded that she was over her head from the very beginning.
"I went from being a dance teacher from Pittsburgh who never ran a family business, who never did the books, who never wrote the checks out [because] my dad was there, he had my back. When he died, I had these temporary people in there, now we're finding out that money was going right and left — and I didn't know that."Miller stated she was not only nervous about going to prison but scared of the unknown. Abby Lee Miller stated that she is fearful of all the things you see on television or the things that you hear about prison. She admitted that she is terrified of being raped or abused.
"If I thought about it every day, I would just sit around and cry. But, for now, "It's out of my hands."Social media was buzzing this morning, with people wondering whether or not Abby would receive a prison sentence or walk out of the courtroom a free woman. According to witnesses, the courtroom was filled with people who were curious of the same. After character witnesses had testified today in court, several on behalf of Abby Lee Miller, the lawyers took turns arguing their points. Abby's lawyer pointed out that she did plead guilty and claimed that "Ms. Miller is not a threat to commit additional crimes."
The prosecutor stated that Miller schemed to hide her assets, pointing out that she would have had to make arrangements to hide the money from the government.After years of back and forth, the reality star stood in court today and addressed the judge. Abby Lee Miller claimed that she was certainly ashamed to be meeting Judge Conti in this manner, telling the judge that she wishes she "could take her class" instead.
Miller even went as far as telling Judge Conti this morning that she would like to take her to lunch after the trial to explain. It was obvious that Miller was not expecting to receive any jail time, and was hopeful Judge Conti would agree.Judge Conti and the federal court in Pitsburg, PA, has sentenced Abby Lee Miller to serve one year and one day behind bars. The prison sentence also includes a fine of $40,000. Miller's one year and a day prison sentence is to be followed up by two years of supervised release.
Judge Conti explained her sentence by stating the following.
"It's a very serious situation when someone who files for bankruptcy isn't truthful with the court."What do you think about the outcome of this case? Do you feel Abby Lee Miller "got what she deserved," or do you feel the punishment is too harsh? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Keith Srakocic/AP Images]