What Happened to Abby Lee Miller Go to Jail? Investigating the Case

what happened to abby lee miller

Abby Lee Miller, the renowned dance instructor and star of the reality TV show “Dance Moms,” was entangled in legal troubles that led to her imprisonment. In this comprehensive article, we delve into the details of her case, exploring the reasons behind her incarceration, the legal proceedings, aftermath, what happened to Abby Lee Miller and more.

The Background

Before her Dance Moms fame, Abby Lee Miller faced financial challenges. In 2010, she owed nearly $400,000 in real estate taxes on her Pittsburgh studio and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy1. However, as the show gained popularity, money started pouring in. Unfortunately, Miller’s financial woes did not end there.

The Indictment

In 2015, a judge reviewing her still-pending bankruptcy repayment plan stumbled upon an episode of the Dance Moms’ spin-off, “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition.” This prompted further investigation into Miller’s financial situation. Both the IRS and FBI discovered that she had hidden $775,000 of her income from the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. 

Also, it was revealed that in 2014, Miller had friends divide and smuggle $120,000 earned from her Dance Moms Australia masterclass tour into the United States from Australia, violating customs and immigration requirements.

The Initial Plea and Court Proceedings

At first, Miller entered a not guilty plea to the charges laid on her. She allegedly concealed her income from “Dance Moms” and all its derivatives, which exceeded $750,032. However, behind the bravado of a reality TV star was an arduous journey in court.

Even as the hearings got underway in earnest, Miller asked for judicial leave to travel abroad on business. Although the waters appeared to be calm, underneath were some serious undertows that would try to draw her down.

What happened to Abby Lee Miller the Cash Involved

The core of this case was bankruptcy fraud involving a whopping $5 million. Curiously enough, it turned out after a bankruptcy judge happened to catch Miller’s show on TV and questioned her bankruptcy petition. As authorities looked deeper into this situation, Abby soon faced more demanding accusations.

Suspicions about whether she had hidden other assets surfaced, especially after she filed for bankruptcy in December 2010 against her debts totalling $487k.

The Charges

Miller was hit with 20 counts of financial and customs fraud. Her charges included concealing bankruptcy assets, false declarations, and evading customs regulations. The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged that she had hidden substantial earnings from her hit TV series.

The Trial and Plea Deal

Miller’s case went to trial, where she pleaded guilty to the charges. She reportedly struck a plea deal with the prosecutors. The dance instructor faced the consequences of her actions.

Prison Sentence

In July 2017, Abby Lee Miller reported to Victorville Federal Correctional Institution, a minimum-security prison in Victorville, California. She was sentenced to a year, a day in prison, and two years of supervised release. 

Also, she was ordered to pay fines of $40,000 and $120,0001. However, her time behind bars was cut short due to health complications. After just ten months, she was released and sent to a hospital, where doctors discovered she had spinal cancer.

Place of Incarceration

On July 12th, 2017, Miller reported to FCI Victorville Federal Prison in California to begin her sentence. This significant turning point highlighted the fact of how far this awe-inspiring dance personality had fallen from her position of reverence on television.

The ramifications of this sentencing did not stop at legal consequences. It also significantly impacted Abby Lee Miller’s personal life and professional path.

Miller’s Life Behind Bars

Abby Lee Miller entered the prison gates, which changed the lifestyle of the inmate. Determined to adapt and persevere, she was able to create a niche for herself, even in those ominous walls.

Adapting to Prison Life

When Miller entered the Victorville Federal Correctional Institution for the first time, she did not know much about the strict prison life regulations and practices. That did not dampen her spirit. She showed perseverance and adapted quickly, concentrating solely on survival. She reported spending time reading, taking Spanish classes, and even teaching dance lessons.

Health and Fitness

An interesting fact about Miller’s life in prison was her dramatic weight loss. As a result of gastric sleeve surgery just before sentencing and regular physical activity in prison, she lost about 100 pounds.


How long was Abby in prison for?

Due to health issues, Miller served approximately ten months of her original sentence before her early release.

What happened to Abby Lee Miller

Abby Lee Miller was incarcerated at Victorville Federal Correctional Institution in California. Later, she was transferred to a halfway house in Long Beach, California, where she completed the remainder of her sentence before being hospitalized.

What did she do during her time in prison?

In an interview, Miller mentioned that her thyroid and diabetes medications were taken away, and she was placed in solitary confinement for posting a photo of herself in prison.


In this article, we discussed what happened to Abby Lee Miller. Abby Lee Miller’s journey from the dance studio to the courtroom is a cautionary tale. Her financial missteps and subsequent legal battles remind us of the importance of transparency and honesty, even in the spotlight. As she continues her life beyond prison walls, her story remains a powerful lesson for all.

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