Washington County couple charged with multiple crimes

Date of Release

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced that the Washington County Attorney’s Office recently charged Derek Michael Chauvin and Kellie May Chauvin, both of Oakdale, with multiple tax-related felonies. They are both charged with six felony counts of aiding and abetting in the filing of false or fraudulent individual income tax returns and three felony counts of aiding and abetting in failing to file individual income tax returns.

According to the complaints, department investigators initiated a review into the Chauvins in June of 2020 for failure to timely file Minnesota individual income tax returns from 2016 to 2018 and fraudulently filing tax returns from 2014 to 2019.  The complaints allege that the Chauvins knew of their obligation to file state income tax returns due to their filings in previous years and from multiple correspondences sent in 2019 by the department regarding their missing 2016 individual income tax return. The complaints detail that the Chauvins, both employed and domiciled in Minnesota, failed to file income tax returns and pay state income taxes, underreported and underpaid taxes on income generated from various employments each year, and failed to pay proper sales tax on a vehicle purchased in Minnesota. The complaints state that the Chauvins allegedly owe in excess of $37,000 in tax, penalties, and interest.

 “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. “Our office has and will continue to file these charges when presented.  Whether you are a prosecutor or police officer, or you are doctor or a realtor, no one is above the law.”

 “The vast majority of taxpayers voluntarily comply with Minnesota tax laws,” said Department of Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly. “However, the department will work with our partners in law enforcement to help ensure that Minnesota’s tax laws are administered fairly and everyone pays the right amount, no more no less.”

Each tax-related felony charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Although most taxpayers comply with tax laws voluntarily, the department takes enforcement action against noncompliant taxpayers to ensure that tax laws are administered fairly.

Many of the department’s criminal case referrals come from public tips. There is a 24-hour tip line for anyone who suspects that a person or business is violating Minnesota tax laws. Local callers may dial 651-297-5195 or call toll-free by dialing 1-800-657-3500. Tips can also be submitted to the department by email at Tipsters may choose to remain anonymous. 

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Ryan Brown