Derek Chauvin Facing Tax Evasion Charges

The man whose videotaped murder of a defenseless detainee resulted in several months’ worth of protests is now facing felony tax evasion charges. Chauvin will now face charges of second-degree murder and multiple felony counts of tax evasion


Chauvin and his wife are accused of hiding income streams on their taxes including more than $95,000 in income from his side job providing security. 


Is His Wife Also Guilty?


Chauvin’s wife is likely being charged with the crime because they filed their taxes together. While the IRS does allow innocent spouses to claim they had no knowledge of the tax evasion, it makes it difficult for them to do so.


The IRS criteria for allowing a spouse on a joint tax return to escape culpability when their spouse hides income streams requires that the IRS actually believe that the spouse had no knowledge of what the other spouse was doing. If that spouse can legitimately say that they did not prepare or have knowledge of the tax evasion, the fact that the spouse benefited from the tax evasion can be used against them.


In these cases, the IRS will consider the education of the spouse, their involvement in preparing the tax documents, and whether or not they were simply turning a blind eye to a situation that they knew they would benefit from. The IRS does not need to prove that the spouse actually had direct knowledge of the fraud, but that a reasonable person would have caught the issue if they invested the time to look. 


Chauvin’s wife may have a solid defense if the underreported or omitted income streams were only related to Derek’s work. She has also filed for a divorce from Chauvin, which will help her case. She will be expected to provide the IRS with a clear picture of her involvement with the tax filing.


How Does the IRS Work Criminal Investigations?


The IRS likes to give people enough rope to hang themselves with. They will not let on to the fact that they know that you have omitted specific income streams when they first discuss the matter with you. It will all be generic-sounding and it is meant to put you at ease. They will leave you with enough hope that you can lie your way out of the situation, and then only after you have committed yourself to the lie, will they present you with evidence of your fraud.


Why do they do this? Essentially, fraud is a crime of intent. You cannot accidentally defraud someone. You have to do it knowingly.


In this case, the defense for Mrs. Chauvin will likely struggle to find sufficient cause to absolve her of the tax evasion. She too will face federal charges. Her testimony to the IRS will likely not be valuable enough to cut a deal, so she is stuck fighting the charges in court.


Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

Tax evasion is a federal crime. Those charged with federal crimes require attorneys who are capable of handling cases in federal courts. If you have been charged with a federal crime, tax evasion, or fraud, call the Chicago criminal defense attorney, David Freidberg, today at (312) 560-7100. We can help.

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