Tag: sandy hook lawsuits
Alex Jones Files For Bankruptcy In Bid To Shield His Fortune From Justice

Alex Jones Files For Bankruptcy In Bid To Shield His Fortune From Justice

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones filed for personal bankruptcy in a Texas court on Friday after weeks on the hook for over $1 billion for pushing heinous and defamatory lies about the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting.

For years, Jones, a Trump-supporting provocateur, falsely claimed on his far-right disinformation podcast, Infowars, that the Sandy Hook massacre, a tragedy that claimed the lives of 20 elementary school children and six adults, was an “inside job” instigated by the government as a pretext for the mass seizure of guns.

According to the New York Times, Jones’ websites and social media commandeered 1.4 million daily visits before major platforms like Facebook purged his content –. as Vox reported, for “glorifying violence… and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants.”

Incited by Jones’ lies that the grieving parents of victims of Sandy Hook were “crisis actors,” Infowars listeners subjected the distraught families to years of violent threats and harassment, according to court testimony.

Reckoning arrived in 2018 when a group of families sued Jones and Infowar's parent company, Free Speech Systems, citing the stalking, death threats, and harassment they had endured due to Jones’ falsehoods.

In his Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in the Southern District of Texas, Jones claimed insolvency due to the mostly business-related debts he said he owes to between 50 and 99 creditors, including Sandy Hook victims’ families, a value he estimated to be between $1 billion and $10 billion.

Jones said in his filing that his assets are worth between $1 million and $10 million, even though he earns up to $70 million annually peddling dietary supplements, quack cures, and other items including survival gear, reports the Times.

In a recent broadcast, the Infowars host pegged the amount at $2 million, telling his audience, "I’m officially out of money, personally,” even though a forensic economist estimated in court this summer that Jones and his business were worth up to $270 million.

An attorney for the Sandy Hook victims’ families, Chris Mattei, slammed Jones’ insolvency claims as a failed ploy to dodge accountability for his lies about the tragedy.

“Like every other cowardly move Alex Jones has made, this bankruptcy will not work,” Mattei said. "The American judicial system will hold Alex Jones accountable, and we will never stop working to enforce the jury’s verdict."

Jones' filing came a week after a Texas judge ordered him to pay $49 million in damages a jury awarded to the parents of a six-year-old killed in the shooting, a verdict Jones’ lawyer has publicly promised to appeal.

In October, before the Texas ruling, a jury in Connecticut awarded a contingent of eight Sandy Hook families $965 million in compensatory damages, the biggest penalty from Jones’ slate of legal woes.

A Connecticut jurist, Judge Barbara Bellis, pegged an additional $473 million in punitive damages to the tally early last month, bringing the bill up to $1.44 billion.

The Sandy Hook families challenged Jones’ insolvency claims, accusing the far-right fabulist of “systematically transferr[ing] millions of dollars” to himself and his relatives, according to a bankruptcy court filing in August.

“Alex Jones is not financially bankrupt; he is morally bankrupt, which is becoming more and more clear as we discover his plots to hide money and evade responsibility,” Kyle Farrar, an attorney for the Sandy Hook families, said at the time.

Jones funneled money from Free Speech Systems as the potential for damages mounted mid-trial, moving millions of dollars between August 2020 and November 2021 to business entities controlled by himself and his relatives, a Washington Postanalysis of Jones’ finances showed.

Jones claimed in his bankruptcy filing that Free Speech Systems, which filed for bankruptcy in July, owed $55 million to PQPR Holdings, a company he and his parents owned, a debt the Sandy Hook families called “fictitious,” per the Times.

Multiple media requests sent to Jones seeking comment on his filing have so far gone unanswered.

Alex Jones

Facing Judgment, Alex Jones Begs For Help From The 'Deep State'

Facing growing legal troubles which three bankruptcy filings have only exacerbated, Alex Jones has turned to the U.S. government — which he so often called the “deep state” — for help.

Jones, a right-wing conspiracy theorist and avid Trump supporter, rose to prominence by making absurd allegations against the government and disseminating conspiracies of an alleged shadowy cabal of world-controlling pedophiles, a belief that’s the foundation of the QAnon movement.

Jones’ conspiracy empire has made him a massive fortune and attracted millions of daily visits to his websites and social media accounts, per the New York Times. Jones’ Infowars store raked in $165 million from 2015 to 18, all while he pleaded for donations from his supporters to help him stay financially solvent, according to records obtained by HuffPost.

Just what could Jones have sold to his supporters? According to the Texas Tribune, during the pandemic, Jones’ Infowars store sold products like “Nano Silver” toothpaste and “Superblue Silver Immune Gargle,” both of which he claimed could fight Covid-19. Jones has also sold doomsday pepper materials and diet supplements, products he labeled antidotes for the phony threats he made up on his shows.

Last Tuesday, Jones announced an “emergency blowout sale,” where “thousands of great items, books, you name it” will be sold on his Infowars store. "This is do or die time if you want to keep us on the air," Jones said, referring to the sale. "They are trying to silence you. They are trying to take down the leading voice of resistance."

Jones’ radio show, his so-called “voice of resistance,” is actually his bullhorn for a litany of conspiracy theories. Jones has claimed that Austin authorities often used “black helicopters” to survey the public; that 9/11 was an inside job orchestrated by the government; that the high school survivors of the tragic Parkland, Florida, shooting were “crisis actors” on the payroll of Democrats and George Soros, a regular target for right-wing conspiracies; that juice boxes made kids “gay”; and that Sandy Hook elementary school massacre was a hoax cooked up to curtail the right of U.S. citizens to own guns.

“Sandy Hook is synthetic, completely fake, with actors, in my view, manufactured,” Jones told his listeners in 2015. In subsequent episodes, Jones mocked the weeping parents mourning the death of the children and shared addresses and other personal information of the victims’ families.

After months of continued harassment by Jones’ Infowars supporters — one of whom was sentenced to prison for sending death threats to one victim’s family — the mourning parents fired back with defamation lawsuits, and Jones quickly admitted that the shooting happened but blamed “anti-free speech Democrats” and the media for his predicament.

Jones has tried to slow his legal reckoning by failing to obey court orders to turn over documents; filing late settlement offers, which the victims’ families have rejected; and even citing a bogus medical problem as a reason for failing to show up in court.

In September, Jones was found liable for defamation by a Travis County judge in lawsuits filed by two families of Sandy Hook victims. One month later, Jones lost again in a separate suit filed in Connecticut by eight other families of Sandy Hook victims.

However, Jones’ legal troubles don’t end there. He is also being investigated by the Justice Department for his role in the January 6 insurrection, an inquiry Jones contended could damage him more than the Sandy Hook defamation lawsuits.

Jones has rolled over for the Justice Department, desperate to share all he knows about the January 6 insurrection in exchange for prosecutorial immunity.

On April 18, one week before juries were to make their decision on damages in the Sandy Hook defamation lawsuits, three companies affiliated with Jones, including Infowars, filed for bankruptcy.

The Justice Department’s bankruptcy monitor quickly objected because Jones, who generates and controls Infowars’ income, didn’t file for bankruptcy himself. The bankruptcy filing was for three Infowars offshoots that had no assets, employees, or income.

A restructuring office for Infowars, Mark Schwartz, justified the move by saying Jones would ruin “his good name” and harm his “ability to sell merchandise” if he filed for bankruptcy himself, the Times reported.

Jones wanted the bankruptcy court to approve a $10 million settlement fund for the victims’ families suing him. The families, all of whom want to see Jones in court, filed a motion to dismiss his bankruptcy motion.

A judge has scheduled a status conference on Jones’s bankruptcy motion for Friday.

Sandy Hook Families Win Lawsuit Against Alex Jones In Default Ruling

Sandy Hook Families Win Lawsuit Against Alex Jones In Default Ruling

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

On Monday, after months of hemming and hawing and delays generated by Infowars snake oil salesman Alex Jones, a judge in Waterbury, Connecticut, has ruled that Jones is liable to the families of eight people killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary school mass shooting. In a "sweeping victory," Jones and his Infowars company will be liable for knowingly spreading misinformation in order to profit from it at the expense of the families of dead children.

With Monday's ruling, in addition to rulings in Texas courts over the past year, Jones is now on the hook to the families of ten people killed that terrible 2012 day in Newtown, Connecticut. After weeks of obstruction by way of delays on the part of Jones and his legal team, Judge Barbara Bellis defaulted Jones for a "failure to produce critical material information that the plaintiffs needed to prove their claims." The next hearing Jones will face will be to discuss what he owes these families in restitution.

The defamation lawsuits were filed in 2018 after years and years of Jones' profiting off the promotion of evidence-free conspiracy theories, including the grotesque delusion that the families and others seen on the press forced to speak to the public about the endless agony of losing loved ones were "crisis actors," not real parents. As a result of these heinous misinformation campaigns to generate conspiracy-theory dollars, the families of dead children have been subjected to death threats and the like over the years since the mass shooting.

Jones has tried to walk back his hours and hours of comments and false speculation. He has also attempted to obstruct discovery attempts by the families to reveal just how much money he made profiting off of their misery. It is the latter delays that led Bellis to default Jones' case. Jones' defense has called Bellis biased, but then again Bellis isn't the onlyjudge to say the exact same thing about Jones and his attempts to obfuscate the issues being litigated in these civil trials.

The families will now bring their victories to a jury that will decide on the damages. Showing the jury video of Jones terrorizing kids and their mothers in service of immigration xenophobia will likely not be permissible in court, but you can remind yourself of the craven theater lows Jones and his conmen ilk peddle in here.

Having a judge default your case is not common and will most likely lead to an appeal on those grounds by Jones, Infowars, and their legal team. Like most things ultra conservative these days, the whining that many on the right have traditionally done about how our legal system is being abused is a projection of their own decrepitude.

Alex Jones Claims Plaintiffs’ Lawyers ‘Set Me Up’ With Child Porn

InfoWars host Alex Jones claimed he had been set up after child porn was reportedly found in records he sent to Sandy Hook families as the ongoing lawsuit against him continues.

As CT Post reported on Monday, the lawyers for the families said in a court filing that they took evidence to the FBI when electronic records Jones had turned over as part of the lawsuit contained child pornography. The families have sued Jones for spreading conspiracy theories that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax.

Jones has tried to say that he is being set up, but in lashing out at the families’ law firm, he may have made things worse.

“You’re trying to set me up with child porn, I’ll get your ass,” Jones said on an episode of his show. “One million dollars, you little gang members. One million dollars to put your head on a pike.”

The lawyers say Jones threatened attorney Chris Mattei specifically.

Jones has since denied that these comments were threats.

Koskoff, Koskoff, and Bieder, the law firm that the Sandy Hook families hired, said that it turned over the illicit content to the FBI after reviewing emails that were discovered in the course of the lawsuit.

“The FBI advised counsel that its review located numerous additional illegal images, which had apparently been sent to InfoWars email addresses,” the lawyers stated in court documents.

The lawyers also noted that Jones likely did not review the files before they were sent, because knowingly transmitting it to the lawyers would be a federal crime.

The Infowars host said in a video that the FBI told him that InfoWars is the victim here and that more information will be coming out soon.