Former Minneapolis officer Chauvin, wife charged with tax fraud

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and his wife, Kellie, have been charged with tax fraud.

According to court records, the Chauvins are charged with nine counts of aiding and abetting taxes for failing to file or filing fraudulent tax returns in Washington County.

A criminal complaint states the Chauvins filed a late return in 2014, a timely return in 2015 and then failed to file from 2016 through 2018.

Additionally, investigators learned Derek didn’t file tax documents for all of his off-duty jobs and Kellie, who is a licensed realtor and also operates a photography business called KC Images, didn’t report 340 checks made out to her or KC Images with a memo line stating "photos" as income in 2014 or 2015. The Chauvins also took a deduction of depreciation for one of their homes in previous returns but didn’t apply that to the purchase price of the home to determine capital gains tax, resulting in less tax.

The complaint notes that investigators spoke to Derek Chauvin’s father, an accountant who prepared their 2014 and 2015 returns, who said he filed the returns based on what the Chauvins told him. He added that he filed an extension for the couple in 2016 but they never got him information to file their returns.

Kellie Chauvin told investigators she knew they had to file taxes each year but "it got away from her," the complaint states.

According to the complaint, the Chauvins also bought a 2018 BMW X5 in 2018 for just over $100,000 in Minnetonka but registered it using their Florida address and licenses because it was cheaper. Investigators found the vehicle was serviced in Minnetonka 11 times but never any other places.

It also states the Chauvins spoke over the phone on June 26, which was recorded because Derek Chauvin is in custody at a state prison, and said somebody was looking into their unfiled tax returns. Kellie said she was talking with somebody about "16 to now," and Derek recommended using "who we have used to handle for many years," to which Kellie responded, "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 filed for divorce from Derek Chauvin in May.

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“The vast majority of taxpayers voluntarily comply with Minnesota tax laws,” said Department of Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly. “However, the department will work with our partners in law enforcement to help ensure that Minnesota’s tax laws are administered fairly and everyone pays the right amount, no more no less.”

Derek Chauvin is in custody and charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. Kellie Chauvin is not yet in custody, according to the complaint.