Minneapolis, MN – The former Minneapolis police officer charged with the murder of 46-year-old George Floyd on May 25 has also been charged with multiple counts of tax fraud in Washington County.
His wife, Kellie May Chauvin, was also charged.
The couple are facing nine counts of aiding and abetting tax fraud based on the findings of a joint investigation by the Oakdale Police Department and the Minnesota Department of Revenue, the Pioneer Press reported.
Chauvin’s wife announced she was leaving her husband on June 1 and expressed sympathy for Floyd’s family.
However, there has been much speculation that Kellie Chauvin left her husband in an attempt to try to protect some of their assets should he be convicted of Floyd’s death.
Minnesota Department of Revenue investigators began their investigation in June, around the same time Florida started investigating accusations of voter fraud against the couple.
Public records showed both Derek and Kellie Chauvin had voted where they owned a second home in Orange County, Florida in 2016 and 2018.
The Minnesota tax investigators found that the Chauvins had failed to file their state income taxes in Minnesota on a few occasions between 2014 and 2019, the Pioneer Press reported.
Prosecutors said that in some cases during that time period, the couple had filed fraudulent returns.
Investigators determined that the Chauvins knew they had broken that law based on what they had filed in the past and from multiple letters sent to them by state tax officials in 2019 and 2020, the Pioneer Press reported.
The investigation also determined that Derek and Kellie Chauvin had failed to pay sales tax on a new vehicle they bought in Minnesota.
Former Officer Chauvin was already in jail on murder charges when the Washington County attorney’s office announced the new charges on July 22, the Pioneer Press reported.
Kellie Chauvin has not yet been arrested.
The county attorney said the charges against the Chauvins should serve as a reminder of the importance of following tax laws, the Pioneer Press 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 doctor or a realtor, no one is above the law.”
The charging documents claimed that neither Derek nor Kellie Chauvin had filed income tax returns with Minnesota in 2016, 2017, or 2018, the Pioneer Press reported.
It was also alleged that both Chauvins failed to report tens of thousands of dollars in earnings from their side jobs to the state from 2014 through 2019.
During that time, former Officer Chauvin worked full-time for the Minneapolis Police Department and part-time at several bars and grocery stores, the Pioneer Press reported.
Investigators determined that at one side gig alone, working security for six years at El Nuevo Rodeo bar, Chauvin had earned and failed to report about $96,000.
Kellie Chauvin worked as a real estate agent and also ran a photography business on the side, the Pioneer Press reported.
The charging documents said she deposited $66,000 in checks for her work at her business KC Imaging that weren’t accounted for on tax returns.
Investigators said that although the couple had filed state tax returns in 2014 and 2015, they didn’t report some of the income from their side gigs, the Pioneer Press reported.
The Chauvins filed state income taxes for 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 in June after they were contacted by Department of Revenue investigators and Derek Chauvin was already in custody.
Still, even then, the couple failed to report their side job income on their tax returns, according to the Pioneer Press.
Prosecutors have also alleged that the Chauvins fraudulently used the Windermere, Florida address of their vacation home as their primary residence when purchasing a BMW in Minnetonka to avoid paying state sales tax.
The couple registered the BMW in Florida, the Pioneer Press reported.