We can now add the term “tax cheat” to the growing list of attributes for the former police officer who murdered George Floyd after Derek Chauvin pleaded guilty to tax evasion.
And not just any old tax evasion: federal tax evasion.
In a Minnesota court on Friday morning, Chauvin admitted that “he hid tens of thousands of dollars from the state,” NBC News reported before adding later that the disgraced former cop “pleaded guilty to two counts of tax evasion.”
Chauvin and his former spouse, Kellie May Chauvin, who has also gone under the names Kellie Thao and Kellie Xiong, were charged in the tax matter shortly after Floyd’s killing.
They were accused of shortchanging the state of Minnesota by allegedly failing to pay taxes on $464,433 of joint income from 2014 through 2019, including $95,000 he made working as an off-duty security officer, officials have said.
She was a real estate agent in that time and also operated a photography business. Together they owed $37,868 to the state, which included unpaid taxes, interest and fees, officials have said.
Chauvin’s ex-wife has already pleaded guilty to her role in evading tax payments and is scheduled to be sentenced in May.
Chauvin is in the process of serving decades in prison for using his knee to casually apply deadly pressure to Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during an encounter stemming from the nonviolent allegation of using a counterfeit bill in 2020.
Most recently, Chauvin appealed to have his murder conviction thrown out on the audaciously alleged basis that he was denied a fair trial.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals is expected to make a ruling within 90 days of the motion being filed in January. However, even if it did happen to rule in Chauvin’s favor, his federal sentence for committing a hate crime in the murder of Floyd will still keep him in prison.
In April of last year, Chauvin’s attorneys argued that his trial was “structurally defective” due to reasons that include “extensive pretrial publicity and protests outside the courthouse, as well as the city’s announcement during jury selection that it would pay a $27 million settlement to Floyd’s family.”
The 82-page filing also included allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. Chauvin’s attorneys claimed state attorneys “failed to properly disclose discovery information and adequately prepare prosecution witnesses.”
Conspicuously, in both appeals, there was no mention of Chauvin ignoring Floyd repeating that he couldn’t breathe as the ex-cop applied an illegal chokehold that proved deadly.
With that said, it would be hasty to rule out the possibility that Chauvin could emerge victorious in this latest appeal. After all, he was granted a transfer from a maximum-security Minnesota state prison to a medium-security federal prison in Arizona because, he said, “I was in fear for my life.”
This is America.
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