Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Tax The Rich’ dress designer, Aurora James, has been accused of owing $62,722 in unpaid taxes.
The Canadian creative director has reportedly accumulated a large sum of her debts through her limited liability company Cultural Brokerage Agency (CBA), which is the parent company of her fashion brand, Brother Vellies.
According to the Department of Taxation and Finance, between 2018 and 2019, the business failed to withhold $14,798 of income taxes from employees.
Watch as AOC defends her ‘Tax The Rich’ Met Gala dress in the clip below…
It’s believed to have also failed in carrying out the employee payroll tax.
Since 2015, CBA has been issued with 15 different tax warrants and most recently, it received over $41,666 in pandemic aid relief, according to reports.
James’ company has also been blasted by its own employers, reports the New York Post.
A former unnamed worker told the publication that the company environment was ‘hostile’ and they were ‘afraid’ to ask for their paycheck.
“I experienced a lot of harassment when I worked for her,” they claimed. “Aurora would ask me to do things that were not in anyone’s job description, like scheduling her gynaecological appointments. The work environment was so hostile that I was afraid to ask for my check.”
An ex-intern also had their say on James, describing her as ‘quite cold’.
However, none of this stopped the designer from working alongside activist Ocasio-Cortez.
Together, the pair worked on a political message when it came to her Met Gala dress.
In an Instagram post, the politician opened up about the statement outfit, penning: “The medium is the message.
“Proud to work with @aurorajames as a sustainably focused, Black woman immigrant designer who went from starting her dream @brothervellies at a flea market in Brooklyn to winning the @cfda against all odds – and then work together to kick open the doors at the Met.
“The time is now for childcare, healthcare, and climate action for all. Tax the Rich.”
She then justified her invite to the £30k-per-head event by saying it was to ‘serve the public’.
The 31-year-old added: “And yes, BEFORE anybody starts wilding out – NYC elected officials are regularly invited to and attend the Met due to our responsibilities in overseeing our city’s cultural institutions that serve the public. I was one of several in attendance. Dress is borrowed via @brothervellies.”
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