On Friday, prosecutors urged a federal judge to sentence “Dance Moms” star Abby Lee Miller to prison for bankruptcy fraud.
Miller, 50, is seeking probation for hiding $775,000 from a bankruptcy court after filing for Chapter 11. She also agreed to forfeit the $120,000 she snuck in from Australia following dance competitions, according to the Associated Press (AP).
The forfeiture was part of an agreement where prosecutors wouldn’t push for a harsher sentence since Miller implicated children in her scheme. To avoid reporting money brought into the country, the 50-year-old allegedly hid money in her students’ luggage.
Prosecutor says "Dance Moms" star Abby Lee Miller should get prison, not probation, for bankruptcy fraud. https://t.co/voLGJuCydn
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 20, 2017
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported prosecutors believe Miller deserves a two-year to thirty-month prison sentence due to her calculated behavior. However, her attorneys attested that Miller’s bankruptcy creditors didn’t lose money.
Assistant US Attorney Greg Melucci submitted texts and emails showing that she was still hiding income after numerous warnings and calling US Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Agresti derogatory names in February 2013.
Judge Agresti has shown frustration toward Miller. Tensions rose during a 2012 hearing when the “Dance Moms” star claimed she failed to disclose TV show contracts when an amended bankruptcy plan was in the works because she was unaware of the contracts.
Though Miller forfeited $288,000 in TV income, investigators established she withheld approximately $550,000 earned through appearances, merchandise sales, and dance-related work.
“And she can shake her head and protest all she wants and go through her TV face, that’s not going to affect me, ma’am, and I’d prefer you stop it, OK?” Judge Agresti said. “Let’s be a little stoic here. These are very serious problems you have, and a failure to disclose.”
[Feature Photo: AP/Rich Fury/Invision]