Stand up for the facts!
Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
This video is from 2019.
Campaign finance violation allegations in 2019 against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. were unsubstantiated.
Is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., headed to jail? That’s what a viral Facebook video misleadingly claimed.
"TOP NEWS. Ocasio-Cortez is DONE Faces 5 Years in Jail For FEC Crimes," said the caption on the June 19 video. It came from Next News Network, a site that has repeatedly promoted conspiracies and was recently demonetized by YouTube.
This video opened with host Gary Franchi, who said Ocasio-Cortez was accused of campaign finance violations and that a complaint had been filed with the Federal Election Commission.
"Well let’s just hope it does sink her political career, right out the starting gate, right? ... So, this could be the end of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez once and for all," Franchi said in the footage.
The video was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
But the video is from years ago, not now. Next News Network first published it in March 2019. The FEC dismissed the complaint against Ocasio-Cortez in February 2022 without pursuing action against her.
On March 4, 2019, the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative nonprofit group that monitors public officials, filed a complaint against Ocasio-Cortez with the FEC, claiming that she and others obscured how campaign funds were spent. The nonprofit said in a 2022 statement that Ocasio-Cortez used a staff member’s limited liability company to "operate her campaign without disclosing and itemizing campaign expenses."
The Associated Press wrote in 2019 that limited liability companies are sometimes used in politics to obscure the flow of money. Ocasio-Cortez denied that there were any campaign finance violations.
The FEC initially voted to dismiss some of the complaint’s allegations and in February 2022 voted to close the file without pursuing action against Ocasio-Cortez.
Even if there were an FEC violation in this case, it likely would have prompted a fine, not jail time, experts told reporters.
We rate the claim that Ocasio-Cortez "faces 5 Years in Jail For FEC Crimes" False.
Facebook post, June 19, 2023
PolitiFact, Old video about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton recast as ‘breaking news’ May 3, 2023
PolitiFact, New evidence of fraud in Biden-Trump election? No, that debunked claim is from a 2020 video, June 22, 2023
PolitiFact, ‘Breaking’ news about U.S. Navy destroyer firing at Iranian ship is from 2017, May 26, 2023
Next News Network, TOP NEWS! Ocasio-Cortez is DONE! Faces 5 Years in Jail For FEC Crimes! Here’s Her Response!, March 6, 2019
Federal Election Commission, Filed complaint, March 4, 2019
National Legal and Policy Center, NLPC Sues FEC Over AOC Complaint Dismissal, March 27, 2022
Associated Press, AP EXPLAINS: The GOP’s FEC complaint against Ocasio-Cortez, March 8, 2019
Justice Democrats, When I look at the FEC report for Justice Democrats in 2017, why are there so many expenditures to "Brand New Congress"?, May 8, 2018
Federal Election Commission, Enforcing federal campaign finance law, accessed June 23, 2023
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.