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Abby Lee Miller of ‘Dance Moms’ pleads guilty to bankruptcy fraud, money laundering

Abby Lee Miller
Abby Lee Miller attends Nickelodeon's 28th Annual Kids' Choice Awards held at The Forum on March 28, 2015 in Inglewood, California. Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Dance Moms star and coach Abby Lee Miller appeared in a Pittsburgh, Pa., federal court on Monday, and pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud and failing to report $10,000 in Australian currency she brought into the United States.

Miller, 49, has been charged with 20 counts of bankruptcy fraud, concealing assets, and one criminal count involving international monetary information.

She could face fines of up to $500,000 and a maximum of six to 10 years in prison if convicted, said Judge Terrence McVerry.

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She was charged last fall with illegally trying to hide $775,000 worth of income from the Lifetime network reality show and spinoff projects during her Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Authorities later accused her of dividing more than $120,000 into plastic bags and having others in her group put the bags in their luggage so she could avoid reporting the currency.

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Miller last week issued a statement accepting responsibility for what she called “mistakes.” Her lawyer read a statement Monday expressing appreciation for support she has received.

“Throughout this case, Ms. Miller has taken both the allegations and the proceedings very seriously,” her lawyer, Robert Ridge, said. “This has been a challenging time for Ms. Miller. She appreciates the words of encouragement and support from around the world.”

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“Events over the past several months have been extremely challenging for me, my family, my friends and most important, my students,” said Miller in a statement. “Because of this I made the very difficult decision to close the door on this chapter of my life by accepting responsibility for mistakes I have made along the way. I appreciate all the wonderful messages of support I’ve received from around the world and look forward to the future and getting back to my life’s work; helping young dancers fulfill their potential.”

Miller is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 11. In the meantime, she will be free on bond. She has no intention of discontinuing her work on Dance Moms.

With files from The Associated Press

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