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Fired Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin and wife are charged with felony tax crimes

The former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the death of George Floyd was charged Wednesday with multiple felony counts of tax evasion.

Derek Chauvin, 44, and his estranged wife, Kellie May Chauvin, 45, are accused of failing to file income tax returns and pay state income taxes, dating back to 2014. 

The charges claim they underreported and underpaid taxes on income they earned from various jobs each year, including at least $96,000 the ex-cop earned in off-duty security work. 

The criminal complaint alleges they underreported more than $460,000 in earnings in total and owe the U.S. government nearly $38,000, the Star Tribune reports.

The complaints allege that they also failed to pay proper sales tax on a $100,230 BMW purchased in Minnesota in January 2018. 

Prosecutors say the Chauvins bought the car in Minnetonka but registered it in Florida, where they paid lower sales taxes. 

The couple has a condo just outside of Orlando, the Star Tribune reports. 

The car was serviced eleven times in Minnesota but never in Florida, however. 

The taxes due on the SUV would amount to $5,053. 

The Chauvins were each charged in Washington County with six counts of filing false or fraudulent tax returns for the tax years 2014 through 2019. 

They were also charged with three counts of failing to file tax returns for 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The complaint states that between 2014 and 2019, the Chauvins underreported their joint income by $464,433. 

They would owe $21,853 in taxes but $37,868 in total, once charges and penalties are applied. 

Between 2014 and 2019, Chauvin would have earned between $52,000 and $72,000 annually as a police officer, the complaint says. 

Kellie Chauvin worked as a real estate agent and ran a photography business. 

Yet Derek also worked as an off-duty security guard at the El Nuevo Rodeo dance club, Cub Foods, Midtown Global Market and EME Antro Bar on E. Lake Street.

The complaint claims he failed to pay taxes on nearly $96,000 he earned from the dance club alone.  

Floyd, a Black man who was handcuffed, died May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes as Floyd pleaded for air. 

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. 

He and three other officers who were at the scene – Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao – were fired.

Chauvin is in custody on the charges in the Floyd case. He remains behind bars on $1.25 million bond pending trial.

Kellie Chauvin, who filed for divorce after Floyd’s death, is not in custody. 

Online court records didn’t list attorneys for either in the tax evasion case.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said the investigation into the Chauvins was started in June by the Minnesota Department of Revenue and Oakdale Police Department.

He told the Star Tribune that Minnesota Department of Revenue officials contacted him in June about the records they had found. 

‘They were sending him letters last year’ about the failure to file tax reports, he said, ‘and they got no response’. 

Orput added that the couple’s tax crimes are ‘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. I don’t care about his other problems’.

The couple’s home was searched on June 25 and a box of tax documents, financial information and work schedules were recovered. 

Derek Chauvin’s father, an accountant who prepared their 2014 and 2015 tax returns, said that they had failed to provide him with the information to file returns from 2016 onward. 

Kellie Chauvin, a former Mrs. Minnesota America winner, told investigators they didn’t file because ‘it got away’ from her.   

She was previously charged with writing a bad $42 check in February 2005. 

Despite multiple letters sent to her home about the bad check, she hadn’t paid the owed money by July of that year, leading to a criminal complaint being filed against her. 

Kellie, who at the time was married to her late ex-husband Kujay Xiong, eventually paid the money and the case was dismissed. 

On Wednesday, her attorney also requested that the file on her divorce from Chauvin be sealed following ‘constant harassment from the public’. 

‘The circumstances surrounding Respondent’s incarceration has resulted in rage and violence throughout the community directed at both Petitioner and Respondent,’ the filing said. 

‘Allowing public access of this file will allow further harassment of Petitioner and not allow any privacy in this matter.

‘In addition, allowing public access will allow the public and media to have notice of when hearings occur and will allow the general public to know the whereabouts of each party during the proceedings. Such access will negatively affect the parties from a safety standpoint.’

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