Former ‘Dance Moms’ star Abby Lee Miller sentenced to prison

AbbyLeeMillerLOS ANGELES: Former “Dance Moms” reality television star Abby Lee Miller was sentenced on Tuesday to a year and a day in prison by a federal judge in Pittsburgh for bankruptcy fraud and concealing money earned abroad.

Miller, 50, a dance instructor on Lifetime cable television’s hit show “Dance Moms,” was also sentenced by Chief District Judge Joy Flowers Conti to two years of probation following her release from prison and ordered to pay a US$40,000 fine.

Miller pleaded guilty to concealing approximately US$755,000 in income she had earned in 2012 and 2013 after filing for bankruptcy in 2010 to reorganize her Abby Lee Dance Company business. Her company exited bankruptcy in 2013.

The reality TV star was also ordered by the judge to forfeit US$120,000, the amount of money which prosecutors said Miller had transported in foreign currency to the United States from overseas locations, including England and Australia in 2014, without disclosing on arrival.

A representative for Lifetime declined to comment and representatives for Miller did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment on Tuesday.

Miller was indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2015 on charges of bankruptcy fraud, concealment of bankruptcy assets and false bankruptcy declarations.

Questions about the accused fraudulent activity were first raised after a bankruptcy judge happened to watch one of Miller’s spin-off shows and doubted her claim that she was cash-strapped, the indictment said.

Known for her bossy and brash teaching style, Miller was the star of “Dance Moms,” a reality TV show about the competitive world of dancing that premiered in 2011.

Miller wrote in a March post on Instagram that she would be leaving the show after seven seasons, saying she was refused creative credit for her dance routines and ideas.