AOC is not a multi-millionaire with five cars. Why do misrepresentations about his net worth persist online?

At a recent town hall in his congressional district, New York deputy Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was once again falsely accused of being a secret multi-millionaire – a false claim repeatedly denied that has circulated on dodgy websites and social media platforms since taking office.

Claims without evidence – that the congresswoman has a net worth of $29 million and has one of the biggest most expensive houses — continues to thrive online, despite publicly available financial disclosure forms, while critics suggest his refusal is evidence of some sort of conspiracy theory aimed at protecting his wealth and power.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s Newest financial disclosure forms as of 2021 declared between $3,003 and $45,000 in assets, including a retirement plan.

Her disclosures show she had between $1,001 and $15,000 in a checking account, between $1,001 and $15,000 in a brokerage account and between $1,001 and $15,000 invested in her retirement plan.

As a member of Congress, she earns an annual salary of $174,000. And as a member of Congress, she rents apartments both in New York, which she represents in the United States House of Representatives, and in Washington DC.

Statements from the US Department of Education also show that she owes between $15,000 and $50,000 in federally backed student loans.

She has repeatedly stated that she owed more than $17,000 in student loans after earning her undergraduate degree at Boston University between 2007 and 2010. (The university’s annual tuition for the 2022-2023 school year is $61,050, not including accommodation, books and supplies.)

“I do not own or trade individual stocks, accept any corporate money for my campaign, [and] live solely off my congressional salary (which requires us to pay for [two] rents out of pocket),” she wrote on Twitter.

“This is all publicly disclosed information,” she said, adding that she was signed up for a savings savings plan like many other federal workers, offering savings and tax benefits similar to those offered in private company 401k plans.

But misrepresentations about her income and ‘net worth‘ have persisted, including a still-living article on the website that falsely lists the MP’s alleged assets, including ‘luxury yachts’ and five cars , none of which exist.

Most of the false claims circulating online cited the website, which has already done unsubstantiated allegations about Jen Psaki, among other senior US officials.

The article was previously titled “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Net Worth 2022 (Forbes) Assets Salary Cars House” but was edited in August 2022 to remove “Forbes” from the title, according to archived screenshots.

A spokesperson for Forbes say at once USA today and Reuters that the company “has not reported Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s net worth.” publishes similarly dubious search engine optimized dumps on the alleged net worth of prominent figures without providing sources. The website appears to be based in India and is hosted by Cloudfare. Identification data on his property is not available.

The Independent asked the website’s “CEO and Founder” for comment.

The lawmaker is ranked among the poorest members of Congress, where the median net worth of representatives and senators is around $1 million, according to an analysis of OpenSecrets.

Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott is the wealthiest member of Congress, with nearly $260 million in net assets.

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