By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large
Abby Lee Miller, the oft-tyrannical dance coach from the popular reality show Dance Moms, is finding herself on the receiving end of some harsh treatment this week – she’s been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on 20 counts of various charges related to bankruptcy fraud.
Miller is accused of concealing more than $750,000 from the bankruptcy court, inside of secret accounts set up specifically for that purpose. The alleged source of the money is income earned in years 2012 and 2013 from shows, dance sessions, and merchandise related to the Dance Moms program; Miller filed for bankruptcy in 2010 in order to reorganize her dance studio.
While her attorney, Robert Ridge, maintains that there has been no loss to any of Miller’s creditors, U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton said in a statement issued Wednesday that “Criminal prosecution is appropriate when debtors corrupt the bankruptcy process through deceit and lies before the court.”
According to reports, Miller’s troubles with the court began a couple of years ago, when a bankruptcy judge noticed the continued, heavily-promoted broadcast of her popular television show, and had difficulty reconciling that with her claims of being constantly broke. Said the judge in a court hearing in 2013, “I realized there is a lot of money coming into this plan, this case, and it hasn't been disclosed.”
Miller’s arraignment is scheduled for November 5 in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh.