Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who is already facing charges in the death of George Floyd, is also facing multiple felonies after he and his wife underreported their income for years.
According to CBS Minnesota, Derek and his wife Kellie – who are in the midst of divorce proceedings – were charged with nine counts of felony tax evasion.
Kellie filed for divorce following Chauvin’s arrest on murder charges in May. The action was likely taken to protect the couple’s assets.
Investigators began looking into the Chauvins in June, 2020 for failing to file Minnesota individual income tax returns on time from 2016 to 2019, and for fraudulently filing tax returns from 2014 to 2019.
The investigation began after the feds overheard recorded jail phone calls between the two.
In one call, Derek was overheard telling Kellie someone was looking into their tax returns. He suggested she contact the person who handled their taxes. That person turned out to be his father.
According to the complaint, the Chauvins failed to file income tax returns or pay state income taxes. They also allegedly underreported and underpaid taxes on income from various employments each year.
The Chauvins own homes in Minnesota and Florida. They also own a 2019 BMW that was registered in Florida – where there are no state taxes – but the car was serviced 10 times in Minnesota.
The felony tax evasion charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the Minnesota Department of Revenue and the Oakdale Police Department. The couple faces a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison and/or a $90,000 fine each.
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput noted: “When you fail to fulfill the basic obligation to file and pay taxes, you are taking money from the pockets of citizens of Minnesota.
“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.”