Alex Jones Ordered to Sell Assets to Pay $1.5B Sandy Hook Debt

Alex Jones Ordered to Sell Assets to Pay $1.5B Sandy Hook Debt

A federal judge has mandated the liquidation of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ personal assets to address a $1.5 billion debt owed to the families of Sandy Hook victims. This decision follows Jones’ false claims that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax. Judge Christopher Lopez approved converting Jones’ personal bankruptcy reorganization into a liquidation but dismissed the bankruptcy case of his company, Free Speech Systems, which operates Infowars.

The dismissal of Free Speech Systems’ case leaves the future of Infowars uncertain. Jones built the platform into a multimillion-dollar enterprise over 25 years, primarily through the sale of dietary supplements and other products. Both Jones and the lawyers representing the Sandy Hook families anticipate that Infowars may cease operations due to the overwhelming debt.

A trustee has been appointed to oversee the liquidation of Jones’ personal assets, including Infowars. This move allows the Sandy Hook families to immediately pursue the $1.5 billion owed to them in state courts in Texas and Connecticut, where they won defamation lawsuits against Jones and his company. While Infowars might continue operating during the collection efforts, its assets could be sold off to satisfy the debt.

Jones, who appeared unfazed as the judge dismissed his company’s case, called into Infowars after the court hearing. He predicted further legal battles in state courts and claimed that political forces were attempting to silence him. Outside the courthouse, Jones criticized the families for not accepting his reorganization proposals and accused them of being manipulated by political groups. He expressed his intention to maximize Infowars’ revenues to pay creditors and eventually wind down the business, ensuring the welfare of its 44 employees.

Chris Mattei, a lawyer for the Sandy Hook families, described Infowars as “soon-to-be defunct” as his clients move to collect the debt. He emphasized that Jones is not a victim but the perpetrator of severe defamation. Mattei also mentioned that the families would pursue Jones’ future earnings.

Judge Lopez stated that his primary concern was the best interest of the company and its creditors. He noted that Free Speech Systems’ case was one of the longest-running of its kind and was nearing a resolution deadline. Lopez clarified that his decision was not about shutting down a show but about serving the creditors’ interests.

Jones’ personal assets, including his primary home in the Austin area, are exempt from bankruptcy liquidation. He has already moved to sell his Texas ranch, valued at approximately $2.8 million, along with a gun collection and other assets to pay off debts. In the lead-up to the hearing, Jones urged his audience to download videos from his online archive and directed them to a new website of his father’s company for purchasing dietary supplements.

Jones has about $9 million in personal assets, according to recent court filings. Free Speech Systems has around $6 million in cash and $1.2 million in inventory. During the hearing, lawyers for the Sandy Hook families reiterated claims that Jones illegally diverted millions of dollars before and during the bankruptcies. They questioned his actions of directing his audience to his father’s website and indicated their intention to continue efforts to recover the diverted funds.

Jones and Free Speech Systems filed for bankruptcy protection in 2022 after relatives of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting victims won lawsuit judgments totaling over $1.4 billion in Connecticut and $49 million in Texas. The families testified about the harassment and threats they faced from Jones’ followers, some of whom confronted them in person, denying the existence of their deceased children.

Jones is appealing the judgments in state courts. The families in the Connecticut lawsuit, which includes relatives of eight deceased children and adults, requested that Free Speech Systems’ bankruptcy case be converted to a liquidation. However, the parents in the Texas suit, whose child Jesse Lewis died, preferred the case to be dismissed to expedite the collection of Jones’ debt.

Lawyers for Free Speech Systems indicated support for liquidation, while attorneys for Jones’ personal bankruptcy case sought dismissal of the company’s case. The judge’s decision to dismiss the company’s case could lead to a “race to the courthouse,” potentially resulting in unequal distribution of assets among the families.

Despite acknowledging the reality of the Sandy Hook shooting, Jones continues to claim that political forces are conspiring to shut down his companies and infringe on his free speech rights. The families’ lawyers dismiss these claims as baseless. The families have a pending lawsuit in Texas accusing Jones of illegally diverting and hiding millions of dollars, which Jones denies.

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