George Floyd’s killer Derek Chavin pleads guilty to tax evasion


MINNEAPOLIS — A former Minneapolis police officer convicted in the killing of George Floyd pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of tax evasion and was ordered to pay nearly $38,000 in restitution.

Derek Chau entered the plea before a Washington County, Minn., judge Friday morning. The former officer appeared via video He is serving a 22-½-year sentence for Floyd’s murder and a 20-year sentence for violating the man’s federal civil rights. The The sentences run concurrently.

Chavin and his ex-wife, Kelly Chavin, were indicted in July 2020 for underreporting and failing to pay Minnesota state taxes. The couple is accused of underreporting more than $464,000 in joint income between 2014 and 2019 — at least $95,000 of which Chauvin allegedly earned while working as an off-duty security guard.

Prosecutors built their case, in part, around financial documents and personal documents left in a box inside Chauvin’s former home — including handwritten work schedules detailing Chauvin’s off-duty work.

Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knees into the black man’s neck and back for more than nine minutes, causing Floyd to suffocate and eventually lose consciousness. The incident, captured on a viral Facebook video, sparked a national reckoning on issues of race and policing and sparked mass protests around the world.

Three other officers present at the scene – J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas K. Lane and Du Tao — who later pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charges related to Floyd’s death, including failing to intervene in the death. Nguyen and Lane pleaded guilty in state court to accessory to manslaughter charges and remain in federal custody. A state case is pending against Dao on charges of second-degree murder and accessory to manslaughter.

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Both Chauvins originally pleaded not guilty to the tax charges. Last month, Kelly Chavin pleaded guilty to two counts of tax evasion as part of a plea deal, telling a judge that she relied on her husband to manage their finances and file taxes. His plea agreement required three years of probation and $37,786 in restitution. His sentencing is scheduled for May 12.

On Friday, Derek Chavin, dressed in a blue jail jumpsuit, was seen on video standing and pacing around a cell as he waited for the hearing to begin. He pleaded guilty to two counts of tax evasion, admitting to Washington District Judge Sheridan Hawley that he intentionally tried to avoid paying taxes because of financial difficulties.

“The real reason was some financial concerns at the time,” Chauvin said.

Hawley sentenced Chauvin to 13 months in prison, but said the sentence was already satisfied because he allowed it to run concurrently with prison time related to Floyd’s murder. He ordered the ex-officer to pay $37,686 in restitution — though it was not immediately clear whether he would split that cost with his ex-wife.

Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Scott Haldeman, who prosecuted the case, admonished Chauvin for evading his tax bills, pointing out that tax dollars fund police departments — his profession at the time.

“It’s almost ironic,” Haldeman said.

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