Abby Lee Miller finally got her prison sentence today. Reporters from inside the courtroom tweeted live as it happened. She was sentenced to one year and one day in Federal Prison. She will serve approximately ten months of that term. She was also sentenced to two years of supervised release.
Before the sentencing several character witnesses testified on Abby Lee’s behalf. One lifelong friend of Abby’s testified that Abby followed the advice of her lawyer with regard to her bankruptcy proceedings. It appears that Abby had some of her Dance Moms check held to be dispersed after the bankruptcy was completed. The character witnesses say that the real Abby is not the person we see on the reality show.
Abby took complete responsibility for her criminal activities. Her lawyer said that Abby was not equipped to deal with the fame and finances of Dance Moms.
The prosecutor said that Abby ignored the judge and the bankruptcy trustee who gave her several warnings about concealing finances. They said that Abby showed disdain for the bankruptcy process. Abby was already in trouble with the bankruptcy concealment when she decided to hide $120,000 in suitcases when she returned from a business trip in Australia. “It is fraud, after fraud, after fraud,” the prosecutor stated. He also said she went from “Dance Mom” to “Dance Con.”
In Abby’s statement to the judge she said that she really wishes the judge could take her class, and that she would really like to go to lunch with her after this is all over. Oh Abby. No. Just noe. “Dance Moms became a hit and I became a laughing stock of reality TV,” she said. She also said she didn’t realize she was signing a four year contract when she signed on to the show. She apparently thought it was just a release form. She regrets not holding herself to the same standards she held her dancers to. She tearfully stated she will never be in court again.
The judge then sentenced her to one year and one day followed by two years supervised release to be served in the prison closest to Los Angeles with available space. Both the judge and the prosecutor were disturbed by the continued fraud she committed even while she was already under a federal investigation. She must follow the rules of her supervised release and be honest in answering her probation officer’ s questions. She was also fined $40,000 and had to pay a $120,000 judgment regarding the “airplane money.” She also has to submit a DNA sample due to the felony conviction.
She will self report to prison in approximately 45 days. She will not be appealing her sentence.
The Twitter line of journalist Steve Pope was the primary source of this post.