Abby Lee Miller has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison after she pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud last June. Miller also took $120,000 worth of Australian currency into the United States without reporting it, to which she also pleaded guilty last year.
The former Dance Moms star was sentenced Monday, and after her initial jail time, she faces two years of supervised probation. She was additionally fined $40,000 and ordered to pay back the $120,000.
Prosecutors said she tried to cheat her creditors by hiding $775,000 worth of income and deserved to spend time in prison. Miller’s lawyers argued for probation, saying her creditors were “made whole” after the fraud was discovered. (It’s unclear, exactly, what her lawyers meant by this.)
According to the prosecutors, Miller hid the money in secret bank accounts. With the $120,000, she split the money up into separate bags and had friends carry them in their luggage in the summer of 2014. (By law, all travellers carrying in excess of $10,000 must declare it at customs. Miller failed to do so.)
“Throughout this case, Ms. Miller has taken both the allegations and the proceedings very seriously,” Miller’s lawyer Robert Ridge said in a statement. “This has been a challenging time for Ms. Miller. She appreciates the words of encouragement and support from around the world.”
As for Miller herself, she is more than willing to take the blame for her actions.
“I made mistakes. I trusted people,” she said earlier this year. “But ultimately I have to take responsibility for those mistakes. I have to take the blame. I have to take the punishment.”
She is, however, afraid of what could happen to her in prison, especially because she’s recognizable. “I’m afraid of being physically abused or raped,” she admitted. “I have to stay busy. If I thought about it every day, I’d just sit around and cry.”
Known for her brash and oftentimes cruel coaching of the dancers on Dance Moms, Miller’s reputation precedes her. She announced she quit the reality dancing show in March 2017, claiming she was done with the manipulation by the show’s male producers, and she had had enough.
The majority of children that follow me may be fast asleep, however now is the critical time to make the following statement: I WILL NO LONGER TAKE PART IN DANCE MOMS. FOR THE PAST SIX YEARS/ SEVEN SEASONS I HAVE ASKED, BEGGED, AND EVEN DEMANDED CREATIVE CREDIT FOR ALL THE IDEAS, AWARD WINNING ROUTINES, THEMES, AND COSTUMING – TO NO AVAIL! TODAY, I WAS SO PROUD THAT I WENT AGAINST THE PRODUCER'S IDEA (ONCE AGAIN) TO ENTER A COMMAND PERFORMANCE OF ONE OF MY FAVORITE NUMBERS… "WHERE HAVE ALL THE CHILDREN GONE?" ALONG WITH THREE BEAUTIFUL SOLOS! I don't have a problem working with any kid, I love children and have dedicated my life to making other people's children successful! I JUST HAVE A PROBLEM WITH BEING MANIPULATED, DISRESPECTED, AND USED – DAY IN AND DAY OUT BY MEN WHO NEVER TOOK A DANCE LESSON IN THEIR LIVES AND TREAT WOMEN LIKE DIRT! #dancemoms #season7 #ALDC #aldcalways #newbeginnings #aldcla #alllovedancecourage
“I have asked, begged and even demanded creative credit for all the ideas, award-winning routines, themes and costuming,” she revealed in the post. “I was so proud that I went against the producers’ idea (once again) to enter a command performance of one of my favourite numbers.”
Twitter users gleefully celebrated Miller’s sentence.
Hey @Abby_Lee_Miller have fun in prison
— Steven (@stevena_24) May 9, 2017
— Clyde (@mikemontiel) May 9, 2017
— MJs Smile (@MJs__Smile) May 9, 2017
After that Instagram post, Miller and Lifetime (Dance Moms‘ network) said they would have no further comment about the case.
— With files from The Associated Press