Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump announces the wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and its police department.
The former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd was also hit with tax evasion charges Wednesday as prosecutors alleged Derek Chauvin and his wife didn’t report their incomes from various jobs over several years.
Chauvin and his wife, Kellie May Chauvin, who filed for divorce after Floyd’s death, were each charged in Washington County with nine felony counts of filing false tax returns or failing to file tax returns.
Chauvin and his wife allegedly underreported their joint income in state tax returns by $464,433 from 2014 through 2019. Chauvin earned more than $95,000 for his work as an off-duty security guard that was not reported.
“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 doctor or a realtor, no one is above the law,” Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said in a statement.
Chauvin is one of four former Minneapolis police officers who were fired and later charged in connection to the death of Floyd. Floyd, a Black man, was held to the ground as Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes. Floyd repeatedly told the officers he could not breathe before he died. Autopsy reports ruled his death a homicide, and Chauvin is in custody and facing second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter charges.
The investigation into Chauvin and his wife’s taxes began in June after the Minnesota Department of Revenue received information about suspicious tax filings.
According to a criminal complaint, the Chauvins did not report all of their income when filing their state taxes in 2014 and 2015. From 2016 through 2018, they did not file state taxes. The Chauvins this year did file tax returns for 2016 through 2019, but they allegedly underreported their income in those years, too, the complaint says. The Chauvins owe $37,868 to the state.
Chauvin worked off-duty security at a variety of locations in addition to his work as a Minneapolis police officer. He was required to pay taxes on the income he earned while off-duty.
The criminal complaint says Chauvin worked almost every weekend at El Nuevo Rodeo restaurant from from January 2014 through December 2019. He earned roughly $220 a night, and a total of $95,920 was allegedly not reported on state taxes.
His wife, a real estate agent and photographer, allegedly did not report $66,472.75 from 340 checks received at her photography business in 2014 and 2015.
The Chauvins also allegedly did not pay proper taxes on the sale of a rental home in 2017 and the purchase of a $100,000 BMW in 2018.
The Associated Press reported that Chauvin’s attorney in the murder case declined to comment while his wife’s attorney in the divorce did not respond to a request for comment. Neither had attorney listed in the tax case.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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