Derek Chauvin, the fired Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd in May, was charged Wednesday -- along with his wife -- with felony tax crimes, according to court records,
Chauvin and his wife, Kellie Chauvin, both of Oakdale, Minnesota, were each charged by summons in Washington County District Court with nine felony counts of aiding and abetting taxes, false or fraudulent returns or failing to file returns, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported.
The complaint, filed by Washington County attorney Pete Orput, accuses the couple of underreporting and underpaying Minnesota taxes dating back to 2014, while also not filing state returns for the tax years 2016 to 2019, The Washington Post reported.
From 2014 to 2019, the Chauvins underreported $464,433 in joint income and owed a total of $21,853 in taxes, according to the complaint. With interest and late filing and fraud penalties, the couple owe $37,868, the Star Tribune reported.
“When you fail to fulfill the basic obligation to file and pay taxes, you are taking money from the pockets of citizens of Minnesota,” Orput said. “Our office has and will continue to file these charges when presented. Whether you are a prosecutor or police officer, or you are a doctor or a Realtor, no one is above the law.”
Derek Chauvin, 46, remains jailed on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in connection with the death of Floyd on March 25, the Star-Tribune reported. Three other former officers -- Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao -- are charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin.
Kellie Chauvin, 45, a Realtor, filed for divorce May 29, the Post reported. Her attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
The charges stem from an investigation conducted by the Minnesota Department of Revenue and the Oakdale Police Department, WCCO reported. If convicted, the Chauvins could each face a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison and/or a $90,000 fine, the television station reported.
Orput said the investigation of the couple “was in the works well before” Derek Chauvin was charged with Floyd’s death in late May, the Star-Tribune reported.
According to investigators, Derek Chauvin did not file tax documents for all of his off-duty jobs, KSTP reported. Investigators also said Kellie Chauvin, who also operates a photography business called KC Images, did not report 340 checks made out to her or KC Images with a memo line stating “photos” as income in 2014 or 2015, the television station reported. The Chauvins also took a deduction of depreciation for one of their homes in previous returns but did not apply that to the purchase price of the residence to determine capital gains tax. That resulted in a lighter tax liability, KSTP reported.
According to the complaint, other allegations include the Chauvins buying a new BMW X5 in January 2018 for $100,230 from a Minnesota dealership and using their Florida address and licenses to register the SUV. That allowed them to pay $4,664 in taxes in Florida, which is less than the tax liability would have been in Minnesota, the Star-Tribune reported.
Derek Chauvin, who made between $52,000 and $72,000 from 2014 to 2019 as a Minneapolis police officer, also worked off-duty security at El Nuevo Rodeo dance club, Cub Foods, Midtown Global Market and EME Antro Bar, the newspaper reported.
Chauvin failed to pay taxes on nearly $96,000 he earned from El Nuevo Rodeo alone, investigators said.
According to the complaint, Kellie Chauvin told investigators she knew they had to file taxes each year but “it got away from her.”
Orput called the Chauvins’ tax troubles “run of the mill, but it just happens to be the (police officer) sitting in Oak Park (Heights prison).
“The guy owes us money, and I want to collect,” Orput told the Star-Tribune. “I don’t care about his other problems.”
Cox Media Group