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Posts Make Baseless Claim About Net Worth of Ocasio-Cortez

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Quick Take

Democratic U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York reported having $60,000 at most in bank accounts and other savings and as much as $50,000 in student loan debt in her 2023 financial disclosure report. But social media posts baselessly claim that since becoming a member of Congress, she is “a verified multi-millionaire.”

Full Story

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York became the youngest woman to serve in Congress when she started her first term in the House in January 2019.

As a high-profile member of a progressive Democratic group known as “The Squad” during her initial years in Congress, Ocasio-Cortez has often been the target of unfounded and false claims on social media, as we’ve written.

Recent posts have made a baseless claim about Ocasio-Cortez’s financial status since becoming a member of Congress, suggesting she has inexplicably profited from her time in office.

A March 3 post on Facebook shows an illustration of Ocasio-Cortez slumped on a street bench, with text that claims, “This Bartender Was Thousands of Dollars In Debt When Running For Office But Five Years Later Is A Verified Multi-Millionaire On 174k/yr Salary.”

A March 4 post on Instagram, which shows several photos of Ocasio-Cortez, claims, “A broke bartender elected to Congress, assumes office in 2019 with a salary of $155,000 is now worth $29 million and the DOJ is prosecuting Donald Trump.”

Former President Trump has been indicted four times and has been charged with 91 felony counts in two cases pursued by the Department of Justice and cases prosecuted by the states of New York and Georgia. In addition, a New York judge fined Trump $354.8 million and about $100 million in interest in a civil fraud suit in February, and a federal judge ordered the former president to pay writer E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million based on a jury’s verdict in a January defamation trial.

Ocasio-Cortez was the subject of an investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics, which found in June 2022 that she “may have accepted impermissible gifts associated with her attendance at the Met Gala in 2021.” The nonpartisan office said Ocasio-Cortez didn’t pay for the rented dress she wore to the gala or for hairstyling and make-up bills until after she was questioned by the office.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks to the media on Feb. 28 in Washington, D.C. Photo by Jemal Countess via Getty Images for Congressional Integrity Project.

The claims about the congresswoman being a “Multi-Millionaire” are unfounded, however.

According to Ocasio-Cortez’s last financial disclosure — a report required each year from members of Congress — she had savings, checking, brokerage and 401(k) accounts each with $1,001 to $15,000, or a total of $60,000 in assets at most. Her report filed on Aug. 13, 2023, also showed a liability of between $15,001 and $50,000 in student loan debt.

Reuters also found no evidence to support a claim in 2022 that Ocasio-Cortez had a net worth of $29 million. The congresswoman addressed the claim in 2022, citing the Reuters fact-check article on her campaign website.

The Facebook post correctly states that the annual salary of most members of Congress, which is set by law, is $174,000, and has been since 2009.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.


AOC. Campaign website. “Fact Check: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does NOT have a net worth of $29 million.” Accessed 6 Mar 2024.

Associated Press. “Here’s where all the cases against Trump stand as he campaigns for a return to the White House.” 28 Feb 2024.

Charalambous, Peter and Aaron Katersky. “Trump civil fraud case: Judge fines Trump $354 million, says frauds ‘shock the conscience.'” ABC News. 16 Feb 2024.

Clerk of the House of Representatives. Hon. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Financial Disclosure Report. 13 Aug 2023.

Cohen, Rebecca and Madison Hall. “AOC only paid for her Met Gala outfit and other possible ‘impermissible gifts’ after investigators asked about it, ethics agency finds.” Business Insider. 2 Mar 2023.

Congressional Research Service. Congressional Salaries and Allowances: In Brief. Accessed 6 Mar 2024.

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Scannell, Kara. “Judge affirms $83.3 million verdict against Donald Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation case.” 8 Feb 2024.

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