PITTSBURGH, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Reality show star Abby Lee Miller of Lifetime's Dance Moms has been accused of bankruptcy fraud by the federal government.
In a statement published Wednesday by the Department of Justice, it was revealed Miller faces a 20-count indictment of fraud, concealment of bankruptcy assets and false bankruptcy declarations. If found guilty, she may face five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both.
"Criminal prosecution is appropriate when debtors corrupt the bankruptcy process through deceit and lies before the court," U.S. attorney David J. Hickton said.
According to the report, the Lifetime television personality, known for her "tough love" approach when coaching young dancers, allegedly hid over $700,000 in assets from the Trustee and creditors in order to restructure her dance studio in 2010.
"Federal bankruptcy proceedings can be a lifesaver for honest individuals overwhelmed by debt resulting from any number of legitimate reasons, but allegations of fraud and abuse threaten the integrity of the bankruptcy process and the public's trust in it," said Special Agent in Charge Scott S. Smith of the Western Pennsylvania's F.B.I. division. "We take our responsibility to pursue allegations of bankruptcy fraud seriously."
Miller's Dance Moms is a Lifetime hit show and led to a spin-off show and clothing line. Her provocative personality has made the show one of the network's most popular and most controversial. According to reports, Miller was sued twice for alleged assault but both cases were soon after dismissed.