Dance Moms host Abby Lee Miller is not quitting the Lifetime series and she’s not mounting a defense on her indictment of 20 counts of fraud with a possible 5-years behind bars and $5 million in fines – at least not yet. For the third time so far, and claiming she needs more time to look at evidence the FBI has compiled against her, Miller has been granted an extension by a federal judge to reply to the government’s case.
Last set to file pretrial motions on February 1, the often sonorous Miller now has until to March 1 to get the required papers to the court.
“Additional time is needed for undersigned counsel to inspect and review the material located at the FBI’s Pittsburgh Office in order to perform a complete investigation of the facts and law before making informed decisions concerning the filing of pretrial motions,” said Miller’s attorneys Robert Ridge and Brandon Verdream in a request filed on January 28 (read it here). The lawyers also say that they haven’t been “able to coordinate a mutually available time” with the local FBI agents when they can come by to look at the material in question. “Finding that sufficient cause exists for the requested extension to enable Defendant’s counsel to review discovery material and to make informed decisions concerning the filing of pretrial motions, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that said Motion is GRANTED,” wrote Judge Terrence McVerry yesterday (read it here).
This is the latest legal weave in the case that the feds filed an indictment on October 13 last year against the Dance Moms host. She’s accused of concealing more than $755,000 in fees and other assets from the Collins Avenue-produced show in her ongoing bankruptcy court proceedings. Miller pleaded not guilty to the charges at an arraignment on November 2 in Pittsburgh, PA.
The extension-granting also comes the same week that Miller said in an email on the show that she was quitting Dance Moms because of the stress of the case. A not out of character histrionic display that is all hype as Miller was granted permission to travel for work by Judge McVerry on January 20. “Ms. Miller’s employment presently requires her to travel from Los Angeles, California to Las Vegas, Nevada, on Friday, January 22, 2016, and she is scheduled to return to Los Angeles on Monday, January 25, 2016,” noted the travel request that same day.
Being that Dance Moms is taped weeks in advance, the trip from Miller’s current SoCal home base to Sin City means she clearly is on board – regardless of what Lifetime promos tease.
There is no trial date set for the case yet.