Ex-policeman who killed George Floyd charged with tax evasion
Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was fired for kneeling on the neck of George Floyd until he died, sparking worldwide protests, has been charged with multiple counts of felony tax evasion over five years.
Washington County Minnesota Attorney Pete Orput said Wednesday that Chauvin, 44, and his wife Kellie May Chauvin, 45, both of Oakdale, Minnesota, have been charged with nine counts of multiple tax-related felonies. The charges came after an investigation conducted by the Minnesota Department of Revenue and Oakdale Police Department.
Chauvin is also facing charges for Floyd's death, along with three other police officers, who have all been fired by the Minneapolis Police Department. Video footage from May of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded, “I can’t breathe,” when arresting him for using a counterfeit $20 bill sparked Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S. and other parts of the globe. Chauvin has been charged in that case with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.
According to the latest complaint about the tax evasion charges, revenue investigators initiated a review into the Chauvins in June for failure to timely file Minnesota individual income tax returns from 2016 to 2019 and fraudulently filing tax returns from 2014 to 2019. The complaints allege that the Chauvins knew of their obligation to file state income tax returns due to their filings in previous years and from multiple correspondences sent in 2019 by the department regarding their missing 2016 individual income tax return. The complaints state that the Chauvins, who were both employed at the time, failed to file income tax returns and pay their 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.
"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 in a statement Wednesday. “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."
"The vast majority of taxpayers voluntarily comply with Minnesota tax laws," said Department of Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly. "However, the department will work with our partners in law enforcement to help ensure that Minnesota’s tax laws are administered fairly and everyone pays the right amount, no more no less."
Kellie Chauvin filed for divorce shortly after Floyd's death. Her attorney and Derek Chauvin's had no comment when contacted, according to the Associated Press.