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‘Dance Moms’ star guilty of concealing assets, sneaking cash into the country

By Torsten Ove • Jun 27, 2016 at 4:18 PM

PITTSBURGH — “Dance Moms” TV star Abby Lee Miller is now a federal felon.

Miller, 50, who splits her time among homes in California, Florida and Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty Monday to concealing assets from her TV show from bankruptcy proceedings and sneaking cash into the country in plastic bags stuffed into luggage after dance trips to Australia.

Miller, who goes by Abigale Miller on court documents, entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry in front of a packed courtroom.

The judge set sentencing for Oct. 11 but the date will likely be moved pending the outcome of another bankruptcy fraud case now before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that could impact the sentence Miller gets. The U.S. attorney’s office said the guideline term is 24 to 30 months in prison.

Miller had no comment after the hearing, nor did her lawyer, although they provided a statement to the media in which they said Miller “appreciates the words of encouragement and support from around the world.”

Miller was indicted last year in Pittsburgh on charges of concealing assets from her TV shows.

The fraud was discovered when a U.S. bankruptcy judge in Pittsburgh who was channel-surfing one night came across her national TV performances and realized she had more money that she was revealing in Chapter 11 filings.

The U.S. attorney’s office said she tried to hide about $755,000 from the bankruptcy trustee.

In a separate case, prosecutors said she did not report money that she transferred from Australia into the U.S. after 2014 trips there to conduct dance instruction classes before large audiences. Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Melucci said she and her entourage brought back about $120,000 in cash tucked into Ziploc bags in amounts less than $10,000 and hidden in their luggage.

Miller remains free on bond until sentencing.

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©2016 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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