Chauvin and Wife Now Charged with Minnesota Tax Crimes  

On July 22, Derek Chauvin and his wife, Kellie Chauvin, were charged with Minnesota felony tax crimes dating back to 2014 that allege failure to report more than $460,000 in income — at least $96,000 of that in his off-duty security work. This resulted in their illegal failure to pay $21,853 in Minnesota taxes, which with interest and late filing and fraud penalties, amounts to $37,868.[1]

These charges were filed in Washington County District Court in Stillwater, Minnesota. County Attorney Pete Orput said the investigation of the two “was in the works well before” Derek Chauvin was charged with Floyd’s death. Orput added that his office was contacted in June by the state Department of Revenue officials with what they found, including getting no responses from the Chauvins to letters about no returns having been filed for certain years.

Could these charges also signal possible charges for failure to pay federal income taxes?

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[1] Walsh, Fired Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, wife charged with tax crimes, StarTribune (July 22, 2020);  Horner, Derek Chauvin, officer in George Floyd death, charged with felony tax fraud in Washington County, Twin Cities Pioneer Press (July 22, 2020); Ex-officer accused in killing of George Floyd also charged with tax crimes, Wash. Post (July 22, 2020); Read the tax charges against fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, StarTribune (July 22, 2020).

 

 

Derek Chauvin’s Wife’s Divorce Petition Raises Questions  

As previously noted, on May 31, six days after the killing of George Floyd and two days after Derek Chauvin was charged with murder and manslaughter for that death, Chauvin’s wife, Kellie Chauvin, filed a divorce petition in the District Court for Washington County, where they lived.[1]

The wife’s petition apparently asked for sole title to the couple’s Minnesota home, currently valued at $273,800, and Florida townhome, currently valued at $226,282. That petition also asked for a  “’fair and equitable division” of personal property, vehicles and all bank, retirement and investment accounts. She neither sought nor offered alimony payments.”

Although Derek Chauvin’s time to respond to the divorce petition has expired without any filing of such a response, it is common in divorce and other civil cases for the attorneys to stipulate to an extension of time to respond to such pleadings.

Some have wondered whether the divorce petition was designed to protect these assets from a subsequent wrongful death lawsuit against Mr. Chauvin by Floyd’s family.

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[1] Xiong, Derek Chauvin’s wife is seeking both of their homes in her divorce petition, StarTribune (July 7, 2020).