The complaint accuses the couple of underreporting more than $464,000 in joint income between 2014 and 2019 and says they owe the state nearly $38,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest.
Chauvin, 46, was arrested May 29 and charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s killing during a Memorial Day encounter with police in South Minneapolis. Chauvin was filmed with his knee on Floyd’s neck for roughly eight minutes, according to police body camera video, as Floyd complained he couldn’t breathe and stopped moving. Chauvin is being held on a minimum $1 million bond at a state prison.
Kellie Chauvin, a real estate agent, filed for divorce on May 29. Her attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
The charges came amid intense scrutiny of Chauvin’s personal and professional life and questions about his residency. Public records show Chauvin and his wife owned two homes — one in Oakdale, Minn., a Twin Cities suburb, and another in Windermere, Fla., near Orlando, which was purchased in 2011.
Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis police who was fired the day after Floyd’s death, worked more than 200 days a year as a full-time police officer between 2014 and 2019, according to court records filed Wednesday. He had worked 100 days in 2020 until he was fired.
Yet Chauvin, who also briefly worked as a Minneapolis-area real estate agent, identified himself as a resident of Florida on his Minnesota real estate license. Public records show he also voted in the 2016 and 2018 general election in Florida.
Under state law, someone is considered a resident of Minnesota if they spend at least 183 days in the state during the year and the person or their spouse rents or owns a home “that is suitable for year-round use.” Investigators say Chauvin’s income and time spent in the state more than qualified him to be a legal resident of Minnesota.
The complaint filed Wednesday says Chauvin and his wife had drawn scrutiny from the Minnesota Department of Revenue long before Floyd’s killing because of their failure to pay taxes. It says letters were sent to the couple beginning in 2019 seeking information on their “missing” returns and warning of criminal charges if they did not file taxes, but the couple did not respond.
State tax investigators launched a probe into the couple’s finances on June 12, after Chauvin’s arrest. The court filing identifies several sources of income for the couple over the years, including Chauvin’s police salary.
The complaint says Chauvin earned between $52,476 and $72,029 per year as a Minneapolis police officer between 2014 and 2019. The filing also documents several off-duty security jobs, including at El Nuevo Rodeo, a club near the police precinct where Chauvin was based and where Floyd occasionally worked.
An unidentified witness quoted in the complaint says Chauvin worked “nearly every weekend” at the club between January 2014 and December 2019, earning roughly $220 a night. The complaint also says Chauvin worked four shifts per month at a nearby club, EME Antro Bar, starting in June 2019 and was paid $250 a night in cash.
Prosecutors say Chauvin did not report or pay taxes on that income — which investigators estimated to be at least $95,000 from El Nuevo Rodeo alone.
“When you fail to fulfill the basic obligation to file and pay taxes, you are taking money from the pockets of citizens of Minnesota,” Washington County Attorney Pete Orput, who filed the charges, said in a statement. “Whether you are a prosecutor or a police officer, or you are a doctor or a realtor, no one is above the law.”
According to court records, investigators were able to document Chauvin’s off-duty work schedule and other financial information after executing a June 25 search warrant at his former home in Oakdale, which was recently put up for sale. The complaint says the home “was mostly empty,” but investigators discovered “a box of financial and tax documents, work schedules and other correspondence” that had been left behind in the garage.
The box contained Chauvin’s “handwritten work schedules” documenting his shifts at El Nuevo Rodeo between January 2014 and July 2016.
The complaint also says investigators searched the home of Chauvin’s father, Robert, an accountant who prepared the couple’s 2014 and 2015 tax returns that he said were based on information the couple provided him. Robert Chauvin told investigators he had filed an extension on the couple’s 2016 tax returns but was never provided the information to complete them.
In a statement issued May 29, the same day her husband was arrested and charged in Floyd’s killing, Kellie Chauvin announced she was filing for divorce. Court documents show she is asking for all of the couple’s property, including ownership of their two homes.
Derek Chauvin has not responded to her divorce filing, and county records show he has not yet retained an attorney in the divorce.
Court filings show the couple have been in touch. The complaint says Kellie Chauvin, who is accused of underreporting more than $66,000 in freelance income, called her husband at the state prison in Oak Park Heights on June 26 — one day after she and an accountant met with tax investigators who asked about the couple’s finances.
The filing said Kellie Chauvin admitted to investigators that the couple’s Minnesota home was “their primary residence.” She told investigators she usually spent December and January at their home in Florida and that her husband wasn’t always there because of his work schedule. She told investigators she hadn’t filed taxes because “it got away from her.”
The next day, Kellie Chauvin called her husband in prison, where all inmate calls are recorded, to warn him that people were looking into their taxes.
Derek Chauvin suggested calling their regular accountant, according to the complaint.
“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 replied, according to court records.