“Tax the rich” seems to be just a slogan for some.
The rich person who designed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s slogan-wielding red-carpet gown is reportedly herself a tax deadbeat.
The New York Post reported over the weekend that Aurora James is a “notorious tax deadbeat with unpaid debts dogging her in multiple states.”
The 37-year-old Ms. James, who reportedly has a net worth of $2 million, said that the swanky “Tax the Rich” dress’ presence at the $30,000-per-ticket Met Gala was a “powerful message.”
New York and federal authorities had exactly that message for the Cultural Brokerage Agency, a corporation that Ms. James formed in 2011 and is the parent company of her fashion brand Brother Vellies.
Citing the New York state Department of Taxation and Finance, the Post reported that in 2018 and 2019, there were three open tax warrants for failing to withhold almost $15,000 in income taxes from employees’ paychecks.
The company has been hit with 15 warrants in total since 2015, the Post reported.
Separately, between April 2018 and April 2019 the Internal Revenue Service placed six federal liens for failing to remit more than $100,000 in employee payroll taxes.
The IRS refused to comment to the Post on the liens’ current status.
“Just because they take it out of your paycheck doesn’t mean they’re sending it to the government,” David Cenedella, a Baruch College taxation lecturer, told the Post after reviewing the liens. “I would not say your average business out there has this. Something went wrong.”
The Cultural Brokerage Agency also has had issues with paying employees their benefits.
“In October 2019 the state Worker’s Compensation Board slapped the company with a $17,000 fine for not carrying worker’s-comp insurance between March 2017 and February 2018. The company currently owes $62,722 and no payments have been received to date,” the Post wrote, citing an unnamed representative of the state board.
The Post also noted in Saturday’s report that, despite not sending Uncle Sam and New York state its employees’ taxes and more, Ms. James’s company received $41,666 in pandemic relief aid.
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