The Slatest

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin Faces Felony Tax Charges

Exterior of Ramsey County jail
The Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, where Derek Chauvin was taken after being arrested, seen on June 20. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

In addition to murder charges relating to the killing of George Floyd, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is now facing felony tax charges. Chauvin and his estranged wife were each charged with nine counts of aiding and abetting false or fraudulent tax returns and failing to file returns. According to the complaint, the Chauvins did not report $460,000 in income dating back to 2014, including income the former officer derived from off-duty security work. His wife, who filed for divorce on June 1, a week after George Floyd was killed, worked as a photographer and realtor at the time.

The 45-year-old Chauvin is currently in jail awaiting trial on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. The county prosecutor said the tax investigation and charges were unrelated to George Floyd’s death and “was in the works well before.” From the Minnesota Star Tribune:

The complaints said that between 2014 and 2019, Derek Chauvin made between $52,000 and $72,000 annually as a police officer. He also worked off-duty security nearly every weekend in that time at El Nuevo Rodeo dance club, Cub Foods, Midtown Global Market and EME Antro Bar on E. Lake Street. During that span, Chauvin failed to pay taxes on nearly $96,000 he earned from El Nuevo Rodeo alone, investigators estimated. Beginning in June 2019, he routinely worked off-duty at EME Antro Bar on weekends from 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. after his MPD shift and was paid $250 in cash each night, said investigators, who located no corresponding tax papers.

The filing includes a litany of allegations. Among them, prosecutors say the Chauvins bought a new BMW X5 in January 2018 for $100,230 from a Minnetonka dealership and registered the SUV in Florida—they own a condo in Windermere, outside Orlando—and paid $4,664 in taxes in that state. However, the vehicle was serviced 11 times in Minnetonka and never in Florida, investigators say they found. Kellie Chauvin told investigators they opted for Florida because it was less expensive. The taxes due on the SUV had it been registered in Minnesota were $5,053.

The Chauvins owed $21,853 in taxes on the unreported income from 2014 to 2019, according to the charges, which with interest and late filing and fraud penalties now comes to $37,868. According to CNN, each count the Chauvins face carries a maximum five-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine.

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Update, July 24, 2020: The original photo showed a St. Paul police car outside Ramsey County jail. The photo has been changed.