The grand appearance of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the swanky Met Gala in an expensive white gown emblazoned with the slogan “Tax the Rich” has resulted in much publicity for the attention-craving New York Democrat as well as for the designer of her now-famous garb.
However, some of the attention that is being directed at Aurora James isn’t flattering and will inevitably result in some pointing out the glaring hypocrisy of the message as details of the handling of her own tax and business dealings have emerged and they aren’t pretty.
According to a report by the New York Post, James is a serious deadbeat who owes over $100 thousand in back taxes, tens of thousands in worker’s comp, and runs her operation like a sweatshop according to former employees.
The Post’s story was featured on the cover of Sunday’s edition with the caption Tax ‘Skirter’ accompanying a picture of James and Ocasio-Cortez at the big event, a public relations spectacle that the media is still fawning over nearly a week later.
The Post story relies on official records that show much of “luxe-living James’ arrears” involve an LLC she set up in 2011 as the parent company for her fashion brand Brother Vellies that produces the trendy garb – a favorite of celebrity superstars including Beyoncé and Rihanna, as well as interloper Meghan Markle, who has been a nightmare for the British Royal Family.
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) September 19, 2021
According to the Post, the company “racked up three open tax warrants in New York state for failing to withhold income taxes from employees’ paychecks totaling $14,798,” citing information provided by the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance and was hit with 15 warrants since 2015.
Additionally, in 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 reported based on information received from a representative of the board.
The Post reports that former staffers likened James’ operation to a “sweatshop” and that she “relied on legions of unpaid interns working full-time jobs.”
“I experienced a lot of harassment when I worked for her,” a former contract employee said, “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.” One former intern quoted in the story described James as being “quite cold” and that “she never gives recognition or acknowledgment to her team.”
James is also a “rent deadbeat” who has been sued by at least two landlords according to the paper.
As if her company’s stiffing of governmental taxing authorities, worker’s comp, and landlords isn’t bad enough but it also received $41,666 in COVID relief aid.
Despite the debts, James is living large, having last year purchased a $1.6 million, 7,095 square foot home in the tony Hollywood Hills area, unsurprisingly, the taxes are also delinquent according to the Post.
The designer was hailed by AOC at the Met ball for her nonprofit 15 Percent Pledge, a group according to its website, “encourages retailers to pledge at least 15 percent of their shelf-space to Black-owned businesses.”
— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) September 14, 2021
The irony of James’ grabbing headlines with her “Tax the Rich” dress is priceless and shows once again, that hypocrisy is the coin of the realm on the political left.
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