Reality TV Performer Admits Defrauding Bankruptcy Court, Illegally Transporting Cash into the U.S.
PITTSBURGH – A reality television performer pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of concealing assets from the bankruptcy court and one count of failing to report an international currency transaction, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Abigale Lee Miller, 50, formerly Penn Hills, Pa, and presently living in Los Angeles, Calif., pleaded guilty to two counts before Senior United States District Judge Terrence F. McVerry.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was informed that in 2010, Miller filed a petition in bankruptcy seeking to reorganize debts from the operation of the Abby Lee Miller Dance Studio. The court was advised that during the bankruptcy case, Miller failed to disclose to the bankruptcy court revenue she earned from the sale of merchandise and ticket sales at Master Class dance sessions she hosted in cities in the United States in 2012 and 2013. Additionally, Miller failed to report to customs officials that she transported in excess of $10,000 in foreign currency from Australia into the United States in the summer of 2014, totaling approximately $120,000.
“Today’s guilty plea exemplifies the results that are achieved when law enforcement works collaboratively towards a common goal. IRS-Criminal Investigation, along with our partners at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and Homeland Security-Investigations strive to protect the American public from those who attempt to circumvent the laws of our country and abuse the Bankruptcy process”, said IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Akeia Conner.
“Television celebrities are held in high regard by their fan base for the fictional roles they play,” said Gregory C. Nevano, acting special agent in charge of HSI Philadelphia. “But the crimes exposed as a result of this joint investigation were far from fictional and send a very real message about the consequences that await those seeking to defraud the government.”
Judge McVerry scheduled sentencing for Oct. 11, 2016. The law provides for a total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $500,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Trustee, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Abigale Lee Miller.