Alex Jones files for personal bankruptcy; owes Sandy Hook families nearly $1.5 billion for false lies
- December 3, 2022
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Infowars host Alex Jones filed for personal bankruptcy protection in Texas on Friday, citing nearly $1.5 billion in debt he had to pay to families who had sued him over his conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook school massacre .
Jones filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Houston. His filing listed liabilities ranging from $1 billion to $10 billion and assets ranging from $1 million to $10 million.
Jones confirmed the filing on his Infowars broadcast, saying the case will prove he was broke and asking viewers to shop on his website to help keep the show on the air.
“Personally, I’m officially out of money,” Jones said. “Everything is archived. Everything becomes public. And you will see that Alex Jones is almost cashless.”
FILE – Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones takes the stand to testify in the Sandy Hook defamation damages trial in Connecticut Superior Court in Waterbury, Connecticut on Thursday, September 22, 2022. Tyler Sizemore/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP
Jones, who sells supplements and other items on his Infowars website and promotes them during his shows, said he would not comment further on the bankruptcy.
For years, Jones called the 2012 massacre a hoax. In October, a Connecticut jury awarded the victims’ families $965 million in damages, and a judge later added an additional $473 million in punitive damages. Earlier this year, a Texas jury awarded $49 million in damages to the parents of a child killed in the shooting.
The bankruptcy filing temporarily halted all proceedings in the Connecticut case. A judge was forced to cancel a hearing scheduled for Friday at the request of the Sandy Hook families to secure the assets of Jones and his company to help pay more than $1.4 billion in damages there .
Chris Mattei, an attorney for the Sandy Hook families in the Connecticut case, criticized the bankruptcy filing.
“Like every other cowardly move Alex Jones has taken, this bankruptcy will not work,” Mattei said in a statement. “The bankruptcy system does not protect anyone who engages in premeditated and egregious attacks on others, as Mr. Jones did. The American justice system will hold Alex Jones accountable, and we will never stop working to enforce the jury verdict.”
An attorney representing Jones in the bankruptcy proceedings did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
In the Texas and Connecticut cases, some relatives of the 20 children and six adults killed in the school shootings said they had been threatened and harassed for years by people who believed the lies told by Jones on the show became. A parent testified that conspiracy theorists urinated on his 7-year-old son’s grave and threatened to dig up the coffin.
Photos of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre sit at a small memorial in Newtown, Connecticut, just a month after the 2012 shooting. John Moore/Getty Images
Erica Lafferty, the daughter of murdered Sandy Hook director Dawn Hochsprung, testified that people sent rape threats to her home.
Jones has laughed at the accolades on his Infowars show, saying he has less than $2 million to his name and will not be able to pay such large amounts. Those comments contradicted a testimony by a forensic economist in the Texas trial, who said Jones and his firm Free Speech Systems had a combined net worth of up to $270 million. Free Speech Systems is also filing for bankruptcy protection.
Documents filed in Free Speech Systems’ bankruptcy filing in Texas in July put the company’s budget for the period November 26 through December 23 with estimated product sales of nearly $3 million, while operating expenses are nearly $3 million will be $739,000. Jones’ salary is reported as $20,000 every two weeks.
Families of Sandy Hook have alleged in another Texas court case that Jones hid assets worth millions of dollars after the victims’ relatives began taking him to court. Jones’ attorney denied the allegation.
A third trial over Jones’ remarks about Sandy Hook is expected to begin in Texas within the next two months, in a lawsuit brought by the parents of another child killed in the shooting.