Derek Chauvin, ex-officer accused of killing George Floyd, charged with tax evasion

ABC NewsBY: CHRISTINA CARREGA

(MINNEAPOLIS) — The former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd is also facing multiple felony charges of tax evasion.

Derek Chauvin and his estranged wife, Kellie May Chauvin, were charged on Wednesday by Washington County prosecutors with failing to file their taxes since 2016 and filing fraudulent returns since 2014.

The couple, who have two homes in Oakdale, Minnesota, and one in Windermere, Florida, owe $37,868 in taxes and penalties, according to the criminal complaint.

Derek Chauvin is currently in custody at the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Oak Park Heights on $1.25 million bond following his arrest for the May 25 death of Floyd. He has entered a not guilty plea to the murder charges.

His attorney for the Floyd case, Eric Nelson, declined to comment to ABC News on Thursday about the tax evasion charges or confirm whether he would represent the couple in that case.

Chauvin, a 19-year law enforcement veteran, was seen on cellphone video pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck as Floyd lay on the ground struggling to breathe and calling for his mother.

Kellie May Chauvin filed for divorce after Derek Chauvin and three other Minneapolis officers were arrested on felony murder and manslaughter charges in Floyd’s death.

The Chauvins are now facing six counts each of filing false or fraudulent returns and three counts each of failure to file returns, according to court documents. If convicted, they face up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

“When you fail to fulfill the basic obligation to file and pay taxes, you are taking money from the pockets of citizens of Minnesota,” Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said in a statement. “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.”

According to the complaint, the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s investigation into the Chauvins started on June 12 following multiple correspondences sent in 2019 by the department regarding their missing 2016 individual income tax return.

In addition to Derek Chauvin’s earnings from the Minneapolis Police Department, he worked since 2014 as an off-duty security guard at four businesses, the complaint said.

“D. Chauvin earned approximately $95,920.00 between January 2014 and December 2019 from El Nuevo Rodeo that the Chauvins did not report as income,” according to the complaint.

The 44-year-old also worked as a licensed Realtor for RE/MAX Results in 2017, earning $9,477.50 that was not reported, the complaint said.

Kellie May Chauvin, 45, has worked as a licensed Realtor for RE/MAX Results in Eden Prairie since 2016 but did not report that income, according to the complaint. She also operates a photography business under the name “KC Images,” for which she allegedly did not report her income in 2014 and 2015, according to the complaint.

She told investigators that she did not file income tax returns because “it got away from her,” according to the criminal complaint. Her father was their accountant for at least two tax seasons, the complaint said.

The couple allegedly purchased a 2018 BMW X5 in January 2018 for more than $100,000 and registered it under their address in Florida, where they allegedly avoided paying more than $5,000 in sales tax. Kellie May Chauvin allegedly told investigators last month that they changed their residency to Florida “because it was cheaper to register a car,” according to the criminal complaint.

A court date has not yet been set for the Chauvins’ arraignment, prosecutors confirmed to ABC News on Thursday.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.