The designer behind the statement-making gown that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore to the Met Gala has been accused of not paying her tax debts.
Aurora James created the dress for AOC, which had the slogan “Tax the Rich” emblazoned in red across it. Most of James’ arrears center on Cultural Brokerage Agency, an LLC she formed in 2011 to serve as the parent company of her fashion brand, which today is known as Brother Vellies. It’s a favorite of people like Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Meghan Markle.
The company has three open tax warrants in New York state for failing to withhold income taxes from employees’ paychecks totaling $14,798, the state Department of Taxation and Finance told The Post. The debts, which were incurred before the pandemic stem from 2018 and 2019. The company has been hit with 15 warrants in total since 2015.
The company got into more hot water with the feds further down the line. Between April 2018 and April 2019, the Internal Revenue Service placed six federal liens on Cultural Brokerage Agency totaling $103,220. The liens specifically cite the company’s failure to remit employee payroll taxes. Ex-staffers blasted the operation as a sweatshop that relied on legions of unpaid interns working full-time jobs.
“I experienced a lot of harassment when I worked for her,” one former contract employee told The Post. “Aurora would ask me to do things that were not in anyone’s job description, like scheduling her gynecological appointments. The work environment was so hostile that I was afraid to ask for my check.” The employee was ultimately terminated.
An ex-intern called James “quite cold,” adding that “she never gives recognition or acknowledgement to her team.” The Inland Revenue Service (IRS) declined to comment on their current status.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: DJHJ MEDIA
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