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Dance Moms Star Abby Lee Miller's First Prison Days

Updated on July 16, 2017

When Legal Trouble's Began

Dance Mom's star Abby Lee Miller reported to Victorville Prison to serve her 366-day sentence for bankruptcy fraud on Wednesday, July 12, 2017.

Abby Lee Miller rose to fame after her reality show Dance Moms, which focused on the ongoings of her studio, The Abby Lee Miller Dance Company in Pittsburgh, PA. Two spin-offs were attempted, Dance Moms: Miami and Dance Moms: UK, but neither compared to the original. What made Miller's show unique was her short fuse, causing her to constantly clash with her students and their mothers. Still, Miller's students won numerous competitions, allowing them to move to Los Angeles in later seasons.

One of her students, Maddie Ziegler, achieved independent fame after appearing in music videos for the music artist Sia.

Abby Lee Miller's legal trouble began after a judge in her 2010 bankruptcy filing suspected she wasn't honest about the earnings she swore to after seeing Dance Moms on television. She was indicted in 2015 on 20 counts of fraud. Her troubles didn't end there. She faced more charges after she was accused of bringing around $120,000 in Austrailian currency in the US and not reporting it.

In addition to her 366-day prison sentence, Miller will have to go through two years of probation and a $40,000 fine and $120,000 judgment. Abby Lee Miller is just the latest celebrity to be in the news for tax-related crimes. Teresa Giudice, of Real Housewives of New Jersey fame, was released from Danbury Federal Correctional Institution in December of 2015 for fraud. Her husband, Joe Giudice, is currently serving his sentence for the same crime. Other celebs who’ve faced trouble include Martha Stewart, Lauryn Hill, and Wesley Snipes.

Despite rumors of federal prison being “less intense” than state prison, (think Club Fed), Miller will still be a prisoner and treated as such. What will Miller’s experience be like?

WATCH: How Miller Wants to Spend Her Time

Who Will Her Roommates Be?

Legal Beagle reports that federal prisons typically house inmates guilty of crimes such as drug traffickers, immigration violators, tax evasion and fraud. A federal prisoner is anyone who’s committed crimes under federal jurisdiction. Not all inmates are guilty of white-collar crimes. Federal prisons also house inmates who’ve committed multiple murders across state lines, as well as those who’ve committed crimes against federal institutions or agents, such as a robbing a federal bank.

Federal Prisons vs. State Prisons

Legal Beagle goes on to state that the main differences between federal and state prisons are that state prisons house criminals convicted at the state level and those whose crimes require longer sentences. Federal prisons also house inmates at separate facilities based on the severity of their crimes. In state prisons, many criminals have committed violent crimes, making it less of a safe environment.

What Makes it "Club Fed"?

Federal prisons differ based on facility, but according to Washington Post, many former inmates describe it as “humdrum” or even “junior college.” Some prisons offer “perks” such as permitting inmates to leave the facility for work, taking trade courses, and fitness facilities that offer classes such as yoga and calisthenics. Prisoners do have jobs for which they receive a low pay that they use for “commissary” (snacks, toiletries, clothes, etc.) Many prisoners are permitted to send emails and download music.

What about the food? Surprisingly, (or not), it’s not as bad as you think. Eonline reports that meals at Abby Lee Miller’s prison may include fruit, bran flakes, and skim milk for breakfast, baked chicken and mashed potatoes for lunch, and potato soup and chef’s salad for dinner.

According to a defense attorney who spoke to Washington Post, prisoners in low-max federal penitentiaries tend to be on their best behavior in fear of being sent somewhere worse. In a way, you could say that a low-max federal prison is as good as it gets.

Considering that many celebrities have survived federal prison, Miller should be no different. Martha Stewart served her sentence in 2004. Once she was released, her career was back up and running in no time. The same should go for Miller, who reported to US Weekly that her plans include a new, scripted show.


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