Kellie and Derek Chauvin's $464K tax evasion: Ex-beauty queen made thousands in realtor job, photography biz
After Kellie Chauvin filed for divorce from Derek Chauvin following a video of him kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes on May 25, 2020, went viral, a Minnesota judge approved their divorce settlement in February, this year
Derek Chauvin, who was convicted on April 20 for the murder of George Floyd, along with his ex-wife, Kellie Chauvin, faces tax evasion charges after allegedly underreporting their joint income by almost $500,000 between 2014 and 2019. According to the authorities, the Chauvins underreported $464,433 in joint income between 2014 and 2019. Along with interest, late fees and fraud penalties, the former couple allegedly owes the state $37,868.
After Kellie filed for divorce from Derek following a video of him kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes on May 25, 2020, went viral, a Minnesota judge approved their divorce settlement in February, this year. Kellie has not spoken out since the guilty verdict against her ex-husband was announced. However, the former couple remains embroiled in a probe into whether they are guilty of nine counts of felony tax evasion. The Washington County prosecutor’s office in Minnesota announced the charges in July 2020 after the video of Floyd's death blew up to unimaginable proportions and started a worldwide movement.
What does the prosecutor's office claim?
Apparently, the Chauvins had been investigated for months prior to the prosecutor's office making the charges public. The office claimed that the former couple failed to report Derek’s income from off-duty security work and Kellie's earnings from her job and business.
"Revenue investigators initiated a review into the Chauvins in June 2020 for failure to timely file Minnesota individual income tax returns from 2016 to 2019 and fraudulently filing tax returns from 2014 to 2019," the office said in a statement in July. "The complaints detail that the Chauvins, both employed and domiciled in Minnesota, failed to file income tax returns and pay state income taxes, underreported and underpaid taxes on income generated from various employments each year, and failed to pay proper sales tax on a vehicle purchased in Minnesota,” it added.
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said that after he and the Oakdale Police Department had launched an investigation, he was contacted by the Minnesota Department of Revenue. He said that the couple's tax crimes are "run of the mill, but it just happens to be the [police officer] sitting in Oak Park [Heights prison]. … The guy owes us money, and I want to collect. I don't care about his other problems."
How much did Derek and Kellie earn?
According to the Sun, Derek Chauvin earned up to $72,000 a year as a police officer. However, prosecutors alleged that he had other sources of income including earning up to $96,000 in private security work while off duty, which he failed to disclose. He also reportedly worked as a security guard at places like the El Nuevo Rodeo dance club, Cub Foods, Midtown Global Market and EME Antro Bar.
Besides this, his wife, Kellie, who was a former Mrs Minnesota America winner, was earning tens of thousands of dollars from working as a realtor and having a photography business, which she had kept hidden while declaring her taxes, according to the charging documents. Kellie reportedly told investigators they didn't file the taxes because "it got away" from her.
Among the allegations are also claims that the couple failed to pay proper sales tax on a $100,230 BMW purchased in Minnesota in January 2018. Although they bought the car in Minnesota, they registered it in Florida where taxes would be lower. And despite the fact that the Chauvins own a townhouse in Florida worth $249,224, prosecutors claim records show the car was always serviced in Minnesota but never in Florida.
What is the punishment if convicted?
The Chauvins' Minnesota home was searched last June and tax information and work schedules were recovered. The charges in question only pertain to state income taxes and not to federal taxes or taxes in Florida. Each of the charges carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
They would also owe $37,866 in underpaid taxes in addition to charges and penalties. At the moment, Derek remains in custody as he awaits sentencing on Floyd’s murder charges in eight weeks time after his bail was revoked.