Nine times out of ten, I’m going to feel badly for someone facing something so serious, even with the knowledge that the outcome is deserved by the offender. Sure, Stevie J. of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta fame owes millions in child support, but don’t send him to jail–give him another show! Heck, I felt terrible for Teresa Giudice when she got sent up the river, but dare I say how she handled her prison time is one of the classier things the Real Housewives of New Jersey star has ever done. However, I just don’t feel badly for Dance Moms antagonist Abby Lee Miller. Lock her up for a bit. Perhaps she’ll gain a little perspective and humility. Who am I kidding?
Facing sentencing at a hearing tomorrow and another on February 24th (after what seems like a decade’s worth of postponements), Abby’s legal team is scrambling for a hail Mary so the dance studio owner can avoid any jail time. She’s currently facing up to five years in prison and an excess of $5 million in fines thanks to twenty counts of fraud involving her bankruptcy and generally just forgetting to declare some Aussie currency she brought back into the country…chump change, really.
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According to Deadline, on Tuesday of this week the reality star’s attorneys filed a twenty-two page memo in federal court hoping to spare Abby from any time behind bars. In part, the document reads, “Ms. Miller respectfully requests that the Court impose a non-custodial sentence after considering her acceptance of responsibility and the nature and characteristics of her conduct and her life. She presently finds herself standing before this Court having admitted to crimes that served almost no purpose but, fortunately, caused no harm,” adding, “Indeed, upon proper analysis, Ms. Miller submits that a sentence of probation would be entirely consistent with the advisory Sentencing Guidelines.”
Alleging a defense that basically consists of Abby not knowing any better (what is this, kindergarten?), the filing concedes, “Ms. Miller was overwhelmed and under-equipped, and this led to her failure to respect to the bankruptcy process. Her engagement of lawyers, accountants, and other professionals was haphazard, episodic, and at times, counter-productive.”
Abby’s lawyers continue, “In addition to the consequences she is facing through this sentencing, Ms. Miller has suffered the consequence of a very public humiliation through obsessive media attention to these proceedings. However, in the aftermath of her indictment, Ms. Miller has surrounded herself with professionals, including legal counsel, accountants, and other specialists to ensure that she will not recreate the circumstances that led to this sentencing.” Sure she won’t.
Of course, the Assistant US Attorney General prosecuting the case doesn’t believe Abby’s claims of a harmless crime. He’s pushing for a thirty-three month sentence coupled with hefty fines after she concealed more than $755,000.00 in income during her bankruptcy proceedings. Countering the memorandum, the US Attorney’s office asserts, “It is apparent that Miller is not easily deterred by threat of criminal prosecution, even standing before a federal judge. A guideline sentence is a sufficient but not greater than necessary sentence in this case.”
In its opposition to Abby’s sentencing memorandum, the office responds with its own pleading, writing, “Miller committed multiple offenses for which she accepted responsibility in the context of the bankruptcy. She both schemed to defraud the court, conceal assets, and falsify bankruptcy schedules while under oath.”
The memo then cites email correspondence between Abby and her accountant which reads, “The judge was a dick! He hates me…I’m paying Everyone I owe 100% back in one big check! Who does that! Nobody in bankruptcy! But he won’t just say look I hate you and I don’t want to see u again pay everybody and go! Now my Pgh atty are making Collins ave and the entertainment attorney jump through hoops!” The memorandum also reveals, “Later in the same email, Miller is seriously concerned that her plan to deposit income into the two subchapter S corporations would now be unraveled as well.”
She’s not sounding too naive there, is she? I don’t know about y’all, but I will be anxiously awaiting the outcome of Abby’s sentencing.
TELL US – SHOULD ABBY AVOID JAIL TIME? WERE HER ACTIONS NAIVE AND CLUELESS OR COMPLETELY CALCULATED?
Photo Credit: Lifetime