The tax evasion trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and his estranged wife has been pushed to June 30, by which time his trial on murder and manslaughter charges in the death of George Floyd is expected to be over.
Both Chauvin and Kellie Chauvin appeared remotely Friday in separate and very brief hearings before Washington County District Judge Sheridan Hawley.
The case was set for June at the request of Derek Chauvin's lawyer, Eric Nelson, who also represents him in the Floyd case.
The former Minneapolis officer, who is out on bail, faces murder and manslaughter charges in the May 25 killing of Floyd. That trial is set to begin March 8.
Chauvin, the officer who was captured on video kneeling on Floyd's neck, faces the most serious charges of the four officers who were at the scene that evening. The other three will be tried together starting Aug. 23 on charges of aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The Chauvins, who had been living in Oakdale, face nine felony tax evasion charges alleging that they underreported $464,433 in joint income from 2014 to 2019. With interest, late fees and fraud penalties, the complaint alleges they owe $37,868.
The complaint also alleges that $96,000 of Derek Chauvin's unreported income came from off-duty security jobs.
The hearings Friday for the couple, who are co-defendants in the case, lasted no more than a couple minutes each. Neither allowed camera access to their appearances or said anything other than, "Yes, your honor."
The tax evasion charges were filed in July, but Washington County Attorney Pete Orput has said the investigation was in the works before Chauvin became globally infamous for his role in Floyd's death.
Orput said the Minnesota Department of Revenue contacted his office about the tax issues in June, but that his office had been sending Chauvin letters since 2019 with no response.
Among other things, prosecutors say the Chauvins bought a new BMW X5 in January 2018 for $100,230 from a Minnetonka dealership and registered the SUV in Florida, where they own a condo.
They paid $4,664 in Florida state taxes on the vehicle even though, according to prosecutors, the BMW was serviced 11 times in Minnetonka and never in Florida. Had they registered the car in Minnesota, the taxes would have been $5,053.
Kellie Chauvin filed for divorce shortly after her husband was charged in Floyd's death. The divorce is still pending in Washington County, where Judge Juanita Freeman recently raised concerns about fraud and ordered the two to file public documents.
Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747