Alex Jones agrees to liquidate his assets to pay Sandy Hook families, which would end his ownership of Infowars

Tyler Sizemore/Hearst Connecticut Media/Pool/AP

In this September 2022 file photo, Infowars founder Alex Jones appears in court to testify during the Sandy Hook defamation damages trial in Connecticut Superior Court in Waterbury, Connecticut.



CNN

Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones decided Thursday to liquidate his personal assets, accepting demands from the families of Sandy Hook victims who owe him more than $1.5 billion in damages for his lies about the massacre. the school of 2012.

This seismic shift sets the stage for a future in which Jones no longer owns Infowars, the influential conspiracy empire he founded in the late 1990s. Over the years, Jones has not only used the media company to to poison public discourse with lies and vile theories, but also to enrich himself by millions of dollars.

Before Thursday, Jones had resisted converting his personal bankruptcy to Chapter 7 liquidation. But facing mounting legal pressure, he changed course and gave in to the demands of the Sandy Hook families, who still have not received a cent from Jones since juries in Connecticut and Texas found him liable in 2022 defamation and emotional distress. His lawyers said in a filing that there was “no reasonable prospect of the reorganization being successful” and that continuing down this path would only result in additional expenses for Jones.

The legal maneuver “ultimately means [Jones’] the Free Speech Systems property is going to be sold,” Avi Moshenberg, an attorney who represents some Sandy Hook families, told CNN Thursday evening, referring to Infowars’ parent company.

“Converting the filing to Chapter 7 will expedite the completion of these bankruptcies and facilitate the liquidation of Jones’ assets, which is the same reason we decided to convert his company’s filing to Chapter 7,” Chris Mattei said. , another lawyer representing the Sandy Hook families. told CNN.

Jones has technically not controlled Infowars’ business for some time, as Free Speech Systems has also filed for bankruptcy protection. The company’s activities were therefore placed under the control of a court-appointed restructuring agent.

A hearing is scheduled for next Friday to determine the fate of the Free Speech Systems bankruptcy.

But whatever happens in this case, Thursday’s court ruling clears the way for a court-appointed trustee to liquidate Jones’ personal assets, which include his stake in Infowars.

The liquidation of Jones’ assets does not mean that Infowars will cease to exist. Several outcomes are possible. The court-appointed trustee could, for example, sell the business to another owner.

A representative for Jones did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday evening.

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