Meme Spreads Unsupported Claim About Net Worth of Alvin Bragg

08.06.2024, 2:00, Разное
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Quick Take

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced the conviction of former President Donald Trump on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records on May 30. Now Bragg has become the target of viral social media posts that claim, without evidence, that he has a net worth of $42 million or more and baselessly imply that Bragg is corrupt.

Full Story

Former President Donald Trump was found guilty on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records as part of a scheme to influence the 2016 election by concealing payments he made to an adult-film star. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who guided the prosecution of the case against Trump, announced the verdict reached by a New York State Supreme Court jury on May 30.

The district attorney’s office will provide a memo to Justice Juan Merchan with recommendations for Trump’s sentencing, which is scheduled for July 11.

Bragg’s role in the historic case, in which Trump became the first current or former U.S. president to be convicted of a criminal offense, has made him a target of unsupported claims on social media about his financial holdings.  

A widely shared meme posted May 30 on Facebook, showing a photo of Bragg, claims, “Net Worth: $42 Million[.] His Net Worth Has Grown 300% The Past 5 Years[.] He Owns 12 Properties, 8 Cars, and 3 Luxury Yachts[.] How Did DA Bragg Become So Wealthy?” Comments on the post call Bragg “crooked” and “corrupt.”

A May 31 Facebook post inflates Bragg’s purported net worth even more, saying, “How on earth did Alvin Bragg amass wealth of nearly $45 MILLION NET on an annual salary of app. $220,000 +- as DA?”

The May 30 post cites @RickyDoggin, a social media account titled “A Man of Memes,” who describes himself as a “Patriot – Fighting Back Against Liberal Insanity One Meme At A Time… Views expressed here are MY Opinions and nothing more.”

The posts are not marked as opinion, however, and cite no other sources for the claims about Bragg’s net worth.

New York City’s Annual Disclosure Law requires elected officials to file yearly reports listing their financial interests. Bragg’s most recent New York City Conflicts of Interest Board financial disclosure report for 2022 showed his financial holdings were nowhere near the claims in the posts.

The report showed Bragg received $100,000 to $249,999.99 for his annual income as district attorney; $5,000 to $54,999.99 in retirement plan distributions from the City University of New York; and $5,000 to $54,999.99 in dividends and distributions from a TIAA retirement account. The report also listed a Charles Schwab managed account valued at $5,000 to $54,999.99; an individual retirement account valued at $60,000 to $99,999.99; an IRA valued at $100,000 to $249,999.99; an IRA valued at $250,000 to $499,999.99; another IRA valued at $250,000 to $499,999.99; a retirement plan valued at $60,000 to $99,999.99; and “$500,000 or more” in a trust or estate, which Bragg wrote was “money that was in a bank account for the estate of my late mother.”

The report also showed two real estate holdings — a property in New York City that Bragg wrote was owned by his late mother and was sold in 2022 for “$500,000 or more” and a property in Petersburg, Virginia, that was owned by his grandmother and was valued at $100,000 to $249,999.99. New York City records show that Bragg’s mother’s house was sold in April 2022 for $2,250,000.

The conservative website the Dispatch debunked the recent posts about Bragg’s personal finances on June 3, and reported that similar claims appeared on social media in July 2022 and April 2023, shortly after Trump was indicted in New York.

We could find no reports or evidence that Bragg owns “12 Properties, 8 Cars, and 3 Luxury Yachts,” as the meme claimed. And his total financial holdings, based on his disclosure forms and the sale of his mother’s property, add up to about $4.6 million — not $42 million.

We reached out to the Manhattan district attorney’s office for comment on the social media posts, but we didn’t receive a response.

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