The former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd in May has more legal troubles. Derek Chauvin and his wife, Kellie May Chauvin, were charged Wednesday with multiple counts of tax evasion in county court, Fox 6 Now reports.
They’ve been charged six counts each of filing false or fraudulent tax returns for the tax years 2014 through 2019 and three counts each of failing to file tax returns for 2016, 2017 and 2018.
TMZ reports that the specific claims are that the couple significantly underreported their income by thousands of dollars — mostly from Derek Chauvin’s side security jobs and Kellie Chauvin’s photography and realtor business. The charges also allege malfeasance over homes they’ve purchased in Minnesota and Florida and a $100,000 BMW they bought in Minnesota but registered in Florida, where they paid significantly lower sales tax. Fox 6 said.
Derek Chauvin has been charged with second degree murder, third degree murder, and manslaughter in the death of Floyd, a black man who died on May 25 after Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while he cried out that he couldn’t breathe. Chauvin and three other officers were fired — the other three officers have been charged as accessories to Floyd’s death as well — and the incident sparked nationwide protests over militarized and excessive policing that remain ongoing, as CrimeOnline has reported.
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said the Minnesota Department of Revenue and the Oakdale Police Department launched the investigation in June, Fox 6 said.
TMZ also reported that the charges say that the couple talked about the tax problems on the phone in June, while Derek was in custody. According to the documents, Derek allegedly told his wife that the records were being looked into, and Kellie said she was meeting someone about some of the years. Prosecutors say Derek told her to use the same person “we have used to handle for many years,” who may have been Derek Chauvin’s father.
“Yeah, well we don’t want to get your dad involved, because he will just be mad at me — I mean us — for not doing them for years,” Kellie Chauvin reportedly said, according to TMZ.
Shortly after Floyd’s death, Kellie Chauvin filed for divorce. TMZ said that a judge recently ordered the case sealed for privacy and safety concerns.
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[Featured image: Derek Chauvin/Hennepin County Jail]