Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis cop awaiting trial on charges of second-degree murder, sits in jail with bail set at $1.25 million. His estranged wife Kellie is not in custody but could be facing some jail time of her own as they are both being charged with nine counts of felony tax fraud, according to a press release from the Washington County District Attorney.
The death of George Floyd catapulted the Chauvins into the national spotlight. Videos showing the policeman’s knee firmly on Floyd’s neck for several minutes went viral. The videos and Floyd’s death sparked global protests and led to the second-degree murder charges.
Information about Kellie emerged later. The Laotian was born in 1974, escaped an abusive arranged marriage and in October of 2018 was crowned United States of America’s Mrs. Minnesota. She married Derek in 2010 and filed for divorce a few days after his arrest. The former beauty queen works as a real estate agent.
Attorney Pete Orput from the Minnesota Department of Revenue and Oakdale Police Department in Washington County began the tax fraud investigation in June, CNN 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. Whether you are a prosecutor or police officer, or you are a doctor or a realtor, no one is above the law,” Orput said in a statement.
The investigation based on court records revealed that the Chauvins failed to file income tax returns in Minnesota from 2016 to 2019 and underreported income of over $460,000 in their 2014 to 2019 returns.The complaint also said they did not pay proper sales tax on a 2018 BMW X5 vehicle worth over $100,000 that they purchased in Minnesota. They also failed to report income from Derek’s off-duty security work and Kellie’s income from her photography. The penalties, interest and back taxes total nearly $38,000.
The complaint included a comment that Kellie “told investigators that she had not filed income tax returns because ‘it got away from her.'”
Additional criminal charges could stem from the tax evasion case. Both Chauvins are charged with six counts of aiding and abetting taxes, false or fraudulent returns, and three counts of aiding and abetting taxes and failure to file a return, according once again, to court documents.
Each count against the Chauvins carries a maximum 5-year prison sentence and a fine of $10,000. Kellie’s fate remains unknown over the felony tax charges but she has hired an attorney and is taking steps to distance herself from Derek.
There was no criminal attorney listed for Kellie but, when reached by The Washington Post for a comment, her representative did not respond with the request. Meanwhile, Derek’s attorney did not immediately respond to People Magazine’s request for comment