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Alex Jones' Assets Sold to Pay Sandy Hook Debt as Infowars' Fate Decided
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By Associated Press
Published 1 month ago on
June 14, 2024

A federal judge has approved the liquidation of Alex Jones' personal assets and is deliberating on whether his company, Free Speech Systems, should also be liquidated, marking a critical juncture for Infowars amidst legal battles stemming from false claims about the Sandy Hook tragedy. (AP/David J. Philips)

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HOUSTON — A federal judge on Friday ordered the liquidation of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones ′ personal assets but was still deciding on his company’s separate bankruptcy case, leaving the future of his Infowars media platform uncertain as he owes $1.5 billion for his false claims that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax.

Judge Approves Liquidation of Assets

Judge Christopher Lopez approved converting Jones’ proposed personal bankruptcy reorganization to a liquidation. He planned to hear testimony on whether Jones’ company, Austin, Texas-based Free Speech Systems, also should be liquidated. Free Speech Systems is Infowars’ parent company.

Lopez’s ruling earlier Friday means many of Jones’ personal assets will be sold off. But his primary home in the Austin area and some other belongings are exempt from bankruptcy liquidation. He already has moved to sell his Texas ranch worth about $2.8 million, a gun collection and other assets to help pay debts.

Jones did not seem to react when the judge issued the order about his personal assets, but became more animated as Lopez heard from attorneys about the possible liquidation of Free Speech Systems. At times he mumbled under his breath or shook his head when attorneys for some of the Sandy Hook families discussed statements Jones made on his Infowars show this week.

He has been telling his web viewers and radio listeners that Free Speech Systems is on the verge of being shut down because of the bankruptcy. A headline on Infowars’ website Friday said: “Watch Live! Will This Be The Final Day Of Infowars Transmissions?”

Jones Urges Fans to Archive Videos

He also has been urging his followers to download videos from his online archive to preserve them and pointing them to a new website of his father’s company if they want to continue buying the dietary supplements he sells on his show.

“This is probably the end of Infowars here very, very soon. If not today, in the next few weeks or months,” Jones told reporters outside court before Friday’s hearing. “But it’s just the beginning of my fight against tyranny.”

Jones has about $9 million in personal assets, according to the most recent financial filings in court. Free Speech Systems has about $6 million in cash on hand and about $1.2 million worth of inventory, according to J. Patrick Magill, the chief restructuring officer appointed by the court to run the company during the bankruptcy.

Jones Files for Bankruptcy

Jones and Free Speech Systems filed for bankruptcy protection in 2022, when relatives of many victims of the 2012 school shooting that killed 20 first graders and six educators in Newtown, Connecticut, won lawsuit judgments of more than $1.4 billion in Connecticut and $49 million in Texas.

Lawyers for the Sandy Hook families have been seeking liquidation.

“Doing so will enable the Connecticut families to enforce their $1.4 billion in judgments now and into the future while also depriving Jones of the ability to inflict mass harm as he has done for some 25 years,” Chris Mattei, a lawyer for the families in the Connecticut case, said.

The relatives said they were traumatized by Jones’ comments and his followers’ actions. They have testified about being harassed and threatened by Jones’ believers, some of whom confronted the grieving families in person saying the shooting never happened and their children never existed. One parent said someone threatened to dig up his dead son’s grave.

Jones and Free Speech Systems initially filed for bankruptcy reorganization protection that would have allowed him to run Infowars while paying the families with revenues from his show. But the two sides couldn’t agree on a final plan, and Jones recently filed for permission to switch his personal bankruptcy from a reorganization to a liquidation.

Families Who Sued Want Different Outcomes

The families in the Connecticut lawsuit, including relatives of eight dead children and adults, have asked that Free Speech Systems’ separate bankruptcy case also be converted to a liquidation. But the parents in the Texas suit — whose child, 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, died — want the company’s case dismissed.

Lawyers for the company filed documents indicating it supported liquidation, but attorneys for Jones’ personal bankruptcy case do not support that plan and want the judge to dismiss the company’s case.

If Free Speech Systems’ case is dismissed, the company could return to the same position it was in after the $1.5 billion was awarded in the lawsuits. Efforts to collect the damages would go back to the state courts in Texas and Connecticut. That could give Infowars an extended lifeline as collection efforts played out.

Jones Blames the Democrats

Although he has since acknowledged that the Sandy Hook shooting happened, Jones has been saying on his recent shows that Democrats and the “deep state” are conspiring to shut down his companies and take away his free speech rights because of his views. He also has said the Sandy Hook families are being used as pawns in the conspiracy. The families’ lawyers say that is nonsense.

According to the most recent financial statements filed in the bankruptcy court, Jones’ $9 million in personal assets include his $2.6 million Austin-area home and other real estate. He listed his living expenses at about $69,000 for April alone, including about $16,500 for expenses on his home.

Free Speech Systems, which employs 44 people, made nearly $3.2 million in April, including from selling the dietary supplements, clothing and other items that Jones promotes on his show, while listing $1.9 million in expenses.

The families have a pending lawsuit in Texas accusing Jones of illegally diverting and hiding millions of dollars. Jones has denied the allegations.

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