Judge orders sale of Alex Jones’ personal assets to pay $1.5bn Sandy Hook victims but keeps Infowars going

Alex Jones, a right-wing conspiracy theorist, falsely claimed the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax

Katie Hawkinson
Friday 14 June 2024 23:51 BST
Alex Jones’ personal assets to be sold

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Louise Thomas

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A federal judge on Friday ordered the liquidation of Alex Jonespersonal assets to help pay the $1.5 billion he owes to the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims for defamation.

Later that day, the judge dismissed a bankruptcy case from Free Speech Systems, parent company of Jones’ Infowars brand, arguing the decision would allow the families to immediately seek relief from the company in state court.

“I was never asked today to make a decision to shut down a show or not. That was never going to happen today one way or another,” Judge Christopher Lopez said. “This case is one of the more difficult cases I’ve had. When you look at it, I think creditors are better served in pursuing their state court rights.”

The decision allows Infowars to continue to operate for the moment, though Free Speech Systems and its properties could still go under later on. The families have suggested they may return to bankruptcy court and ask that the company be liquidated as part of the sale of Jones’s personal assets, as he owns Free Speech Systems.

“[D]ismissal allows the creditors to exercise available remedies in state court immediately—not after waiting for a new protracted bankruptcy under chapter 7 to play out,” one group of the families wrote in a court filing.

Two years ago, Sandy Hook families sued Jones for defamation after he falsely claimed the 2012 shooting that killed 26 people was a hoax. Jones, a right-wing conspiracy theorist, now owes $1.5 billion to the families after losing two lawsuits. The right-wing media personality has already sold a $2.8 million property and other assets as part of the penalty.

Despite the ordered payment, the Sandy Hook families have yet to see a dime from Jones. Today’s liquidation order could change that.

Alex Jones, pictured, has been ordered to liquidate his personal assets to pay $1.5 billion to the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School victims he defamed.
Alex Jones, pictured, has been ordered to liquidate his personal assets to pay $1.5 billion to the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School victims he defamed. (Getty Images)

Attorney Chris Mattei, who represents the Sandy Hook families, said liquidation is essential to enforcing the judgment against Jones.

“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,” Mattei said, per the AP.

Jones asked a judge last week for liquidation after initially proposing a reorganization of his assets instead. The week prior, the Sandy Hook families had filed an emergency motion asking a judge to force him to liquidate his assets.

The families previously said Free Speech Systems has “no prospect” of reorganization and the court “failed to demonstrate any hope of beginning to satisfy” their legal claims.

On the Infowars website, Jones has told his audience the company is on the verge of shutting down due to the ruling. Jones has also held “emergency broadcasts” on his web and radio show this month, claiming the federal government was trying to show down his show immediately and asking supporters to form a human chain around his studio in Austin, Texas.

Meanwhile, the families have filed a separate case against Jones claiming he has diverted and hid millions of dollars to avoid making the payment. Jones has denied any wrongdoing.

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