A prosecutor today urged a federal judge to impose a harsh sentence in a case being heard in Pittsburgh in which “Dance Moms” star Abby Lee Miller faces sentencing for bankruptcy fraud.
“Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Melucci called witnesses to buttress his contention that the reality TV show star tried to avoid repaying hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt by hiding about $775,000 in income from a bankruptcy court,” the AP reports. “Miller’s attorneys will call witnesses when the hearing continues Feb. 24, after which she’ll be sentenced. Miller and her attorneys said they won’t comment until then.”
The judge, however, appears to be leaning toward probation for Miller.
“Melucci faces an uphill battle to convince U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti that Miller deserves 2 to 2-1/2 years in prison,” the report notes. “That’s because the judge filed tentative findings on the eve of Friday’s hearing essentially agreeing with the defense argument that Miller deserves probation because no creditors lost money once the bankruptcy fraud was discovered.”
The report adds: “Miller pleaded guilty in June to purposely hiding her income in financial disclosure statements filed with the bankruptcy court starting in 2012. People who file Chapter 11 must honestly disclose their assets so the creditors can fairly assess whether to approve any court-approved repayment plan.”
Miller is the director of Reign Dance Productions and oversees the Abby Lee Dance Company, which is the focus of “Dance Moms.” The reality series has been airing on Lifetime since 2011.