Alex Jones ordered to sell assets to pay Sandy Hook debt

Legend, Alex Jones owes $1.5 billion to the families of victims killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

  • Author, Mike Wendling
  • Role, BBC News

A judge has ordered the liquidation of Infowars host Alex Jones’ personal assets, paving the way for possible payments to the families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting.

However, US Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez ruled against the liquidation of Mr Jones’ company Free Speech Systems, which owns the Infowars brand.

Relatives of the victims have won a total of $1.5 billion (£1.2 billion) in defamation judgments against Mr Jones and his company for his false statements about the attack.

According to recent court filings, Mr. Jones owns approximately $8.6 million in personal property.

Friday’s ruling in Houston, Texas, means that for now, Free Speech Systems and Infowars will continue to operate.

According to court filings, Free Speech Systems employs 44 people and made nearly $3.2 million in revenue in a recent month, primarily from the sale of dietary supplements and other items.

The victims’ families were divided over whether the company’s bankruptcy should be abandoned or also transformed into liquidation proceedings.

The ruling does not absolve Free Speech Systems of liability, and plaintiffs in defamation cases will be able to pursue damages owed to them in state courts or through additional bankruptcy hearings.

“There are no easy or right answers here,” Judge Lopez said, sounding deeply moved at times as he delivered his ruling. “I think creditors are best served when they pursue their rights in state courts.”

One of the families’ lawyers said they would move quickly to recover damages.

“The court has authorized us to act immediately to recover all of Infowars’ assets, and that is exactly what we intend to do,” Christopher Mattei said in a statement Friday. “Alex Jones is neither a martyr nor a victim. He is the author of the worst defamation in American history.”

After the December 2012 attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Mr. Jones and his guests repeatedly questioned on his broadcasts whether the massacre had actually occurred, launching theories as to whether whether the murders were faked or carried out by government agents.

Twenty young children and six school staff were killed in the attack.

At one point, Mr. Jones called the attack a “giant hoax” and in 2015 he said: “Sandy Hook is a synthetic, completely fake movie, with actors, in my opinion, fabricated…I clearly knew that they had actors there, but I thought they killed it. real kids, and it shows how daring they are, that they clearly used actors.”

Mr. Jones has since admitted that the Sandy Hook murders took place.

Following the broadcasts, the families’ victims were harassed online and in person by Infowars viewers. The families filed defamation suits in Connecticut and Texas, and their legal victories led Mr. Jones and Free Speech Systems to declare bankruptcy.

Friday’s hearing focused on whether those bankruptcy cases would be converted from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7, a part of U.S. bankruptcy law that allows for simple liquidation rather than more complicated financial restructuring.

In his recent broadcasts and on his social media accounts, Mr. Jones has continued to attack the American justice system and claim that there is a government conspiracy to silence it.

He has repeatedly warned that he is about to be taken off the air, even though US free speech laws mean he would be free to start a new company and continue broadcasting even if his company was liquidated.

“We just dodged a bullet, praise Jesus,” Mr. Jones said on an Infowars show after the hearing. “I would have been off the air today if the judge hadn’t done the right thing. We live to fight another day.

At the hearing, lawyers for the families claimed the conspiracy theorist was trying to reduce the value of his company – for example by tricking listeners into buying products from a company owned by his father rather than directly from ‘Infowars.

But Mr. Jones’s lawyers countered by arguing that in recent weeks the company had recorded record sales.

Leave a Comment