NEWS

Abby Lee Miller Pleads Guilty to Bankruptcy Fraud

by Jackie Willis 9:27 AM PDT, June 27, 2016
Playing Abby Lee Miller Pleads Guilty to Bankruptcy Fraud

Abby Lee Miller appeared in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, courtroom on Monday, and pleaded guilty to one count of failing to report more than $10,000 worth of U.S. dollars' worth of Australian currency she brought into the U.S., and one count of bankruptcy fraud, her lawyer tells ET.

Miller has been charged with 20 counts of bankruptcy fraud, concealing assets, and one criminal count involving international monetary information. Judge Terrence McVerry said that if convicted of the charges, Miller could face fines of up to $500,000 and a maximum of six to 10 years in prison. 

"Throughout this case, Ms. Miller has taken both the allegations and the proceedings very seriously," attorney Robert Ridge says in statement. "This has been a challenging time for Ms. Miller. She appreciates the words of encouragement and support from around the world."

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The Dance Moms star's attorney adds that sentencing in Miller's case will occur "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."

A pre-sentencing investigation is to be conducted, but in the meantime, Miller will remain free on bond and be allowed to travel until her sentencing on Oct. 11.

Miller, 49, was first accused last October of illegally trying to hide $775,000 worth of income from Dance Moms and the Lifetime show's spinoff projects when she filed for Chapter 11. At the time, she pleaded not guilty. Last week, federal prosecutors added a currency reporting charge, stemming from her return to the states in August 2014.

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"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," Miller said in a statement issued to ET through Ridge last week. "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."

Her rep elaborated to ET that when Miller says "this chapter" of her life in the statement, she's only referring to the criminal charges, and not her work on Dance Moms.

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In December 2015, Miller spoke to ET about how she deals with obstacles that come her way. "My parents taught me, 'Hey, you go back in there tomorrow and you put your chin up in the air and do this, that and the other thing and you ignore those people."

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