Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd, is also facing felony tax fraud charges along with his estranged wife, Kellie.
On Wednesday, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput announced nine counts of felony tax evasion against the couple.
“They’re accused of not filing tax returns from the years of 2016, 2017, and 2018. The Chauvins did file returns in 2014 and 2015 but severely underreported the income in those returns,” Assistant County Attorney Scott Haldeman said, per CBS Minnesota.
Prosecutors claim that Derek, who has since been fired from his job as a police officer, did not report income from his off-duty security jobs in 2014 and 2015. Investigators say Kellie did not report income from her side jobs as well.
Haldeman says that once Kellie was aware of the investigation, she tried to file for the missing years — but allegedly omitted extra income.
“It tells me that it was a willful act, and there was intention behind not filing these returns,” Haldeman said.
The complaint says that during a June interview, Kellie told investigators that she had not filed income tax returns because “it got away from her.”
Legal documents also say that during a recorded June 26 phone call with Derek in jail, Kellie allegedly told him that their unfiled tax returns were being investigated.
Kellie allegedly told Derek that she was meeting with someone about “16 to now.” He then allegedly suggested that they use an individual “who we have used to handle for many years.”
She then allegedly responds, “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,” appearing to imply that Derek’s father may have been involved with their finances in the past.
In regard to this recording, Haldeman said, “There was an admission in there saying, ‘We haven’t been filing these.’”
“It just certainly bolsters the case,” he added.
The complaint also accuses the couple of failing to pay proper sales tax on a vehicle purchased in Minnesota.
Overall, the Chauvins are accused of underreporting $464,433 in income. While they initially owed $21,853, they now owe $37,868 due to penalties and interest.
If convicted, Derek and Kellie could each face a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison and/or have to pay a $90,000 fine.
In May of this year, Kellie filed for divorce, which is still pending.
On Wednesday, her attorney requested that their divorce file be sealed, citing “constant harassment from the public.”
Derek — who was seen on video pinning his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost eight minutes — has also been charged with second-degree manslaughter, second-degree murder, and third-degree murder for Floyd’s death. He remains in jail with his bail set at $1.25 million. He has yet to enter a plea with regard to these charges.