Society

'Dance Moms' Star Gets A Year And A Day In Prison (Photo)

| by Michael Howard

Abby Lee Miller of "Dance Moms" has been sentenced to 366 days in federal prison after being convicted of bankruptcy fraud.

The reality TV star had pleaded guilty in 2016 to attempting to conceal $775,000 in income while filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. She reportedly kept the money in a number of secret bank accounts beginning in 2012.

"Somehow you got caught up in the fame and lost your moral compass," Judge Joy Flower Conti told Miller at sentencing, adding: "You weren't truthful. Even when you knew you were supposed to tell everything, you still weren't truthful."

The trouble for Miller began when her bankruptcy judge saw her on TV and concluded that she must have been making more than the $8,899 per month that she declared when filing for bankruptcy, according to the Daily Mail.

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She eventually turned over $288,000 in undeclared TV income. However, investigators soon discovered that she'd concealed another $550,000, which she had earned from merchandise sales, dance sessions and personal appearances.

During sentencing, Miller cried and begged Judge Conti for leniency, referring to herself as a "laughing stock."

"Dance Moms became a hit and I became the laughing stock of reality TV," Miller said, according to the Daily Mail.

In a prepared statement, she said she began racking up debt after taking over her father's dance business. From there things snowballed out of control.

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"I'm certainly ashamed to be meeting you for the first time in this manner," Miller said. "I wish you could take my class or come to one of my events and see how much I love this."

In addition to the prison sentence, Miller was ordered to pay $160,000 in fines.

Speaking to "Good Morning America" on May 10, Miller made light of her situation.

"A year and a day," she said, according to E! News. "It sounds like a movie title."

But she had to fight back tears when she spoke about her career as a dance instructor.

"I have spent so much time and so much energy making other people's children stars," she said. "I didn't have any children of my own. These were my kids and I raised them like they were my kids."

Miller now has 44 days to surrender herself, at which point her sentence will begin. She said that she has mentally prepared herself for what lies ahead.

"I'm just going to pretend we're shooting a movie and we're on set and I'm there for 10 months, and that's the way it's going to be," she explained, adding that she plans to "read more" and is "already working on a new book."

"Dance Moms" debuted on Lifetime in 2011. The show had completed seven seasons when Miller announced that she was leaving in March. It is unclear whether the series will continue without her.

Sources: Daily Mail, E! News / Photo credit: Max Pixel, Lifetime via Daily Mail

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