Abby Lee Miller, the former star of the Lifetime reality show Dance Moms, has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison after being found guilty of bankruptcy fraud and illegally taking currency into the country.
People reports that she was charged in 2015 with trying to hide $775,000 of income from Dance Moms and Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, plus several other projects, while she was filing for bankruptcy. She was also charged with illegally bringing currency into the country; she allegedly had her friends carry Australian currency in plastic bags in their suitcases.
She could have faced up to $5 million in fines and five years in jail, though prosecutors argued for 2 1/2 years behind bars. But Miller’s lawyers argued that she didn’t deserve prison, just probation, because she paid her debts once the fraud was discovered. Miller said she never meant to hurt anyone and was just inexperienced with running a business. “I am very sorry for what I’ve done,” a tearful Miller said in court, according to thePittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I can only assure you that I will never be before a criminal court again.”
“Somehow you got caught up in this world of fame and got sidetracked,” the judge told her, “and you lost your moral compass.”
Deadline reports that she will report to a facility close to Los Angeles in about six weeks. And given previous white-collar crimes, it’s likely she’ll actually serve only nine months in prison, at which point she’ll be transferred to a halfway house. After her sentence, she will spend two years on probation. On top of that, she will have to pay a $40,000 fine and a $120,000 judgment.
In March, Miller announced she was leaving Dance Moms due to a dispute over creative credit. She will reportedly be replaced by Cheryl Burke for the remainder of the seventh season.