Derek Chauvin pleads guilty to tax evasion charges as he remains behind bars for murder of George Floyd
Derek Chauvin has pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges, marking the latest in a growing number of criminal convictions for the murderer of George Floyd.
The disgraced former Minneapolis police officer and convicted killer appeared remotely in a Minnesota court on Friday where he entered a guilty plea on two counts of aiding and abetting and failing to file tax returns to the state of Minnesota for the years 2016 and 2017.
Chauvin blamed his actions on “financial concerns” that he said he and his now ex-wife Kellie May Chauvin were experiencing at the time.
“The true reason is some financial concerns at the time,” he told Washington County Judge Sheridan Hawley.
Chauvin and his ex-wife were charged with multiple counts of underreporting their joint income by more than $460,000 and of failing to file tax returns between the years of 2014 and 2019.
The couple together owe $37,868 to the state of Minnesota in unpaid taxes, interest and fees, according to prosecutors.
During those years, Chauvin was a veteran police officer with Minneapolis Police Department and was also working on the side as an off-duty security officer.
Kellie May Chauvin worked as a real estate agent and also ran a photography business.
Investigators said that Chauvin earned more than $95,000 from one of several off-duty security jobs he worked between 2014 and 2020 – but paid zero income tax on it.
Last month, Kellie May Chauvin – who divorced her husband following his murder arrest – pleaded guilty to two charges of aiding and abetting their failure to file tax returns for 2016 and 2017.
Chauvin appeared for Friday’s plea hearing over Zoom from the federal prison in Tucson, Arizona, where he is serving time for the Memorial Day 2020 murder of the Black father.
Back on 25 May 2020, the veteran Minneapolis police officer knelt on the Black man’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds as he begged for air saying “I can’t breathe” until he died.
Cellphone footage captured the horrific killing, leading to protests across the globe demanding racial justice and an end to police brutality against Black people.
Chauvin is now behind bars after being convicted on both state and federal charges for Floyd’s murder.
In April 2021, Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter at his state trial and was sentenced to 22-and-a-half years.
Eight months later, he then pleaded guilty to federal charges of violating Floyd’s civil rights when he murdered him – in a plea deal that saw him moved from a Minnesota state facility to a nicer federal prison.
In July 2022, he was sentenced to 21 years on the federal charges.
The two sentences are being served concurrently and he will serve both at the medium-security Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson.
The Minnesota Department of Revenue launched a tax evasion investigation into Chauvin and his ex-wife one month after his arrest for Floyd’s murder when the killer’s suspicious filings came to light.
The probe found that the couple did not file state tax returns for 2016, 2017 or 2018, and did not report all of their income for 2014 and 2015.
The Chauvins then filed tax returned for 2016 to 2019 in June 2020 – the month of the investigation’s launch – but still failed to report all of their income.
Under Kellie May Chauvin’s plea agreement, she is expecting three years of probation and restitution of $37,868, with no more than 45 days of community service when she is sentenced on 12 May.
Chauvin’s guilty plea comes months after he filed an appeal against his state murder charges, claiming that he was deprived a fair trial due to the high-profile nature of the case.