Chauvin Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

Officer in George Floyd case and ex-wife were charged with underreporting income to state
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 17, 2023 2:00 PM CDT
Chauvin Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin appears via Zoom from a federal prison in Tucson, Ariz., on Friday, March 17, 2023.   (Minnesota Judicial Branch via AP)

The former Minneapolis police officer serving time for the 2020 murder of George Floyd pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of tax evasion. Derek Chauvin specifically pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and abetting, failing to file tax returns to the state of Minnesota for the years 2016 and 2017. Chauvin appeared before Washington County Judge Sheridan Hawley via Zoom from a federal prison in Tucson, Arizona. He was standing in a room and paced around before the hearing began, the AP reports. Chauvin and his now ex-wife were charged with multiple counts of underreporting their income and failing to file tax returns. "The true reason," Chauvin told the judge, "is some financial concerns at the time."

“I had to find significant funds from family to pay a previous year’s return and, frankly, I’ve been playing catch up ever since," he added. Chauvin was sentenced to 13 months in prison on the tax charges, but he has already been incarcerated for longer than that and was given credit for time served. Chauvin was previously convicted on state murder charges for the killing of Floyd and on a federal count of violating the Black man’s civil rights. Shortly after Floyd's killing, Chauvin and his then-wife, Kellie May Chauvin, were charged with multiple counts on suspicion of underreporting their income to the state of Minnesota and failing to file Minnesota tax returns. The complaints accused the Chauvins of underreporting their joint income by $464,433 from 2014 to 2019.

With unpaid taxes, interest and fees, the Chauvins, who have since divorced, owe $37,868 to the state, according to court documents. The Minnesota Department of Revenue complaints said Chauvin was required to pay taxes on income from off-duty security work he did between 2014 and 2020. His ex-wife, Kellie May Chauvin, pleaded guilty Feb. 24 to two counts of aiding and abetting their failure to file tax returns for 2016 and 2017. Hawley said she will be sentenced May 12. Chauvin was convicted of state murder and manslaughter charges in 2021 and is serving 22½ years in that case. He pleaded guilty to a federal charge of violating Floyd’s civil rights and was sentenced to 21 years. He is serving the sentences concurrently.

(More Derek Chauvin stories.)

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