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Reality show dance teacher accused of bankruptcy fraud

In a previous post we mentioned that a variety of alleged activities are considered white collar crimes. While in that particular post we wrote about the white collar crime of embezzlement, fraud is another activity that someone could find they are facing criminal charges in connection with.

People from all backgrounds could find that they are accused of committing fraudulent activities. This is illustrated in the recent arrest of the star of reality program, “Dance Moms,” Abby Lee Miller. She was recently indicted by a federal grand jury on the following charges:

  • False bankruptcy declarations
  • Concealment of bankruptcy assets
  • Bankruptcy fraud

It is unclear how much money she allegedly hid.

The charges stem from a bankruptcy she filed in 2010. At that time she claimed that she was financially overwhelmed from things such as income and property taxes. At the commencement of the organization of the debt she was supposed to provide information about her potential income, her income, liabilities and assets. In addition, as the bankruptcy proceeded she was supposed to file Monthly Operating Reports that served to provide creditors with information regarding her finances.

During 2012 and 2013, Miller is accused of scheming to conceal income. In addition to Masterclass dance sessions, apparel sales and merchandise, that income is allegedly from appearing in “Dance Moms.”

An indictment is not the same as a conviction and Miller—or others who find they are in this situation—will have a chance to defend herself against the allegations. It is important to do this because the consequences for a conviction in federal court can be harsh, leading to the loss of one’s liberty and potentially large fines.

The best approach to take to do this will vary depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the alleged crime. Because the average person is not familiar with the defenses for an alleged white collar crime, a criminal defense lawyer can be of assistance.

That individual could also be of assistance at the sentencing phase should a conviction occur. As is the case with all criminal accusations, the sooner the person facing the allegation takes action to defend him or herself, the better.

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