‘Dance Moms’ star pleads guilty
“Dance Moms” star Abby Lee Miller pleaded guilty Monday to bankruptcy fraud and failing to report thousands of dollars in Australian currency that she brought into the country.
Miller pleaded guilty to one count of concealing bankruptcy assets and one count of structuring international monetary transactions.
She was charged last fall with illegally trying to hide $775,000 from the Lifetime network reality show and spin-off projects during her Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Authorities later accused her of dividing more than $120,000 into plastic bags and having others in her group put the bags in their luggage in August 2014, violating a law requiring people to report when they are bringing more than $10,000 in foreign currency into the country.
Miller, who remains free on a $10,000 unsecured bond, issued a statement last week accepting responsibility for what she called “mistakes.” Defense attorney Robert Ridge said in a statement Monday that it had been “a challenging time” and that Miller “appreciates the words of encouragement and support from around the world.”
Miller was scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 11, but the date could be moved pending the outcome of another, similar bankruptcy case now before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. 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.
Her reality show, “Dance Moms,” follows her young students and their involved mothers, who attend practices and performances and openly clash with the brash Miller over her criticism of their daughters. The show is based out of her dance studio in Penn Hills, a Pittsburgh suburb, which is why the charges were filed in Pittsburgh even though Miller now lives in Los Angeles.