According to local Arizona news affiliate ABC 15, Abby Lee Miller, the star of the controversial Lifetime reality show Dance Moms, is facing some serious legal trouble after a channel-surfing bankruptcy judge caught her lying red-handed.
The now-50-year-old Miller filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010 after claiming her debts had amassed to over $356,000, which included a $200,000 mortgage on a Florida home and another $96,000 mortgage on her dance studio in Penn Hills, PA.
After it was found that she was hiding assets from the courts, Miller was indicted and charged with two counts of bankruptcy fraud, five counts of concealing bankruptcy assets, and 13 counts of making false bankruptcy declarations.
Each of the 20 total counts carries up to five years in prison.
Karma caught up with the malicious matron when U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Agresti, who was assigned to her case, just happened to be watching television in December 2012 when he noticed a familiar face gracing the screen.
“And if it wasn’t for me channel surfing one night and seeing Abigale Miller’s Ultimate Dance Competition on one of the TV stations … I realize that there’s an awful lot of money coming into this plan, this case, and it hasn’t been disclosed,” Agresti said in the indictment.
Experts say that, at most, your entire monthly debt payments — including mortgage — shouldn’t exceed 36% of your gross monthly income. Miller had her monthly debt payments covered, and then some, and it’s still unclear why she decided to file bankruptcy in the first place.
The reality star claimed she was making $8,889 in monthly income when she filed for bankruptcy, and Judge Agresti knew that this was impossible considering her level of popularity.
In reality, Miller had two concurrent TV shows on during that time, netting $40,000 a week between them. This was in addition to thousands of dollars in ancillary income she was earning from her normal job as a dance instructor.
Abby Lee Miller isn’t the only (former) reality star that is in some hot water. According to NorthJersey.com, Mike “The Situation” Sorentino and his brother Marc have pleaded not guilty to charges of filing false tax returns on nearly $9 million.
The courts say the brothers filed millions of dollars as business expenses when they were, in fact, personal expenses.
Sorentino’s trial isn’t expected until December, and Miller will appear before a federal magistrate in Pittsburgh on Nov. 5.
It’s a good thing prisons aren’t co-ed, or Miller might have some harsh words for “The Situation” about his fist-pumping technique.