AOC Met Gala Dress Designer Owes Multiple Taxes for Withholding Worker Benefits, Income Checks

© AP Photo / J. Scott ApplewhiteRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., attends a House Oversight Committee hearing on high prescription drugs prices shortly after her private meeting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 26, 2019
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., attends a House Oversight Committee hearing on high prescription drugs prices shortly after her private meeting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 26, 2019 - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.09.2021
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Earlier, progressive Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeared on the red carpet at the Met Gala event in a dress designed by Aurora James intended to deliver a political message. Large red letters on an white elegant silhouette proclaimed “tax the rich.”
Designer Aurora James, 37, appears to have a number of outstanding tax bills and several rent arrears, The New York Post reported on Saturday, citing data from New York’s State Tax Warrant Notice System.
One tax deadbeat is her firm, Cultural Brokerage Agency, established in 2011, as the parent company of her well-known fashion brand Brother Vellies, popular among celebrities, including Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Meghan Markle.
According to the newspaper, the Cultural Brokerage Agency does not withhold federal and state taxes from employee paychecks. The firm has reportedly received 15 tax warrants since 2015, with three sent in 2018 and 2019 and an amount of $14,798 remaining unpaid.
A failure to pay the tax debt between April 2018 and April 2019 forced fiscal authorities to issue the Cultural Brokerage Agency a federal tax lien of up to $103,220, according to the report.
The company was also fined in 2017 and again in 2018 for holding up employee benefits, including a $17,000 fine from state's Worker’s Compensation Board for not carrying worker’s compensation insurance. To date, the company has had to pay $62,722 in fines for their malfeasance.
The Cultural Brokerage Agency, however, reportedly received $41,666 in pandemic aid.
James is said to have been fined for rent debt, now reportedly paid, and her luxurious $1.6 million property in Los Angeles is awaiting a payment of $2,504 in property taxes, according to the outlet.
© REUTERS / Mario AnzuoniMetropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala - Met Gala - In America: A Lexicon of Fashion - Arrivals - New York City, U.S.
Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala - Met Gala - In America: A Lexicon of Fashion - Arrivals - New York City, U.S. - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.09.2021
Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala - Met Gala - In America: A Lexicon of Fashion - Arrivals - New York City, U.S.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeared at the 2021 Met Gala ball wearing a dress displaying the phrase "Tax the Rich" in large eassily recognizable letters. According to Vogue, this was the first time a Democratic congressional representative has appeared at an event typically attended by celebrities and high-profile entrepreneurs.
James told Vogue that she had collaborated with Ocasio-Cortez as a means of modifying the language of fashion.
The decision by Ocasio-Cortez, who normally represents the working class, to attend the elite ball has divided social media, as some hailed her outfit, and others saw it as hypocritical.
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