Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged for George Floyd’s death, and his wife Kellie are facing several tax-related criminal charges.
The Washington County Attorney’s Office announced the Chauvins were facing “multiple tax-related felonies” in a press release on Wednesday. They were charged with nine counts and face a maximum of five years in prison for each charge.
Derek Chauvin is currently in custody for second-degree murder charges related to Floyd’s death. Floyd died on Memorial Day after Derek Chauvin pressed a knee into his neck for more than eight minutes. His bond is currently set at $1.25 million. Kellie Chauvin filed for divorce a few days after Floyd’s death. As of Thursday, Kellie Chauvin is not in custody.
An investigation conducted by the Minnesota Department of Revenue found the couple underreported thousands of dollars and did not file individual returns for multiple years.
“The complaints detail that the Chauvins, both employed and domiciled in Minnesota, failed to file income tax returns and pay state income taxes, underreported and underpaid taxes on income generated from various employments each year, and failed to pay proper sales tax on a vehicle purchased in Minnesota,” the attorney’s office release stated.
Derek Chauvin worked as a full-time police officer prior to his firing and arrest. He also worked a security guard when he was off duty. Kellie Chauvin is a real estate agent and her side job is photography. Both are accused of not reporting the income they earned from their extra work. Authorities say they underreported $464,433 in joint income from 2014 to 2019 and owe a total of $37,868, including fees and penalties.
The couple is also accused of buying a BMW vehicle in Minnesota for $100,230 and registering it in Florida, where they own a home, so they could pay lower registration fees.
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said the tax investigation “was in the works well before” the Floyd incident, according to The Star Tribune. He added the Department of Revenue “sending [Chauvin] letters last year” about missing returns “and they got no response.” After Floyd’s death sparked global outrage, Revenue officials “read the guy’s name and realize this is their guy.”
“The guy owes us money, and I want to collect,” Orput said. “I don’t care about his other problems.”