Derek Chauvin, ex-officer charged in George Floyd's death, accused of tax evasion

Derek Chauvin and his estranged wife have been charged with failing to file tax returns and underreporting income.
Image: US-CRIME-RACISM-ARREST
Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin kneels on the neck of George Floyd in a still from video.DARNELLA FRAZIER / AFP - Getty Images
/ Source: NBC News

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd, has been charged with tax evasion.

Chauvin's wife, Kellie May Chauvin, who has filed for divorce, was also charged, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said in a statement Wednesday.

The Chauvins are accused of failing to file income tax returns and pay state income taxes in Minnesota. Officials said the couple underreported and underpaid taxes and failed to pay sales tax on a vehicle.

It was not clear from online court records Wednesday night whether either had an attorney in the tax case.

Emailed requests for comment from the attorney representing Derek Chauvin in the murder case relating to Floyd and an attorney listed as representing Kellie May Chauvin in a divorce proceeding filing were not immediately returned Wednesday night.

Derek Chauvin, 44, is the white police officer seen in video kneeling on the neck of Floyd, who is Black, on May 25 as Floyd said he could not breathe. Floyd died, and Chauvin was fired and has been charged with second-degree murder and other counts. Three other officers were also fired and criminally charged.

Investigators started an investigation into the couple's taxes in June, Orput, the Washington County prosecutor, said.

"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.

"Whether you are a prosecutor or police officer, or you are doctor or a realtor, no one is above the law," the prosecutor said.

Kellie Chauvin in a 2018 photo.Jean Pieri / Pioneer Press via AP

The complaint says that letters were sent to both Chauvins between 2019 and 2020 about the missing tax returns, and those show that they knew they had to pay Minnesota income tax. They also warned of potential criminal penalties.

She "told investigators that she had not filed income tax returns because 'it got away from her,'" the criminal complaint reads.