Court trustee orders shutdown of Alex Jones’ Infowars conspiracy operation

Court trustee orders shutdown of Alex Jones’ Infowars conspiracy operation

**Court Trustee Orders Shutdown of Alex Jones’ Infowars Conspiracy Operation**

In a significant development, a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee has announced plans to shut down and liquidate Alex Jones’ Infowars media empire. This move aims to address the nearly $1.5 billion Jones owes to the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims, following a defamation lawsuit. The announcement was made on Sunday through an emergency court filing, although a specific timetable for the shutdown was not provided.

Christopher Murray, the trustee appointed to oversee the liquidation, stated that he has already begun planning to wind up operations and liquidate the inventory of Free Speech Systems, the parent company of Infowars based in Austin, Texas. Murray emphasized the need for court intervention to prevent a “value-destructive money grab” and ensure an orderly liquidation process.

The far-right outlet Infowars has long been accused of spreading dangerous misinformation. Jones, 50, notoriously claimed that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, which resulted in the deaths of 26 people, including 20 children, was a “false flag” operation and that the victims were actors. These false claims led to multiple defamation lawsuits in Texas and Connecticut, where Jones was found liable and ordered to pay $1.44 billion to the victims’ families.

One of the parents of a Sandy Hook victim filed a motion in a Texas District Court to gain custody of all Free Speech Systems’ assets, including Infowars. However, some families argued that this would delay the liquidation process. Christopher Mattei, an attorney representing the Sandy Hook families in Connecticut, expressed that the current situation was precisely what they hoped to avoid by keeping the case within the bankruptcy court.

In December 2022, Jones filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. Earlier this month, a Texas bankruptcy judge allowed Jones to start liquidating his personal assets, which include a $2.8 million Texas ranch. Some personal assets, such as a home in Austin, are exempt from liquidation. Jones was then permitted to transition from Chapter 11 bankruptcy to Chapter 7, which involves the liquidation of his assets.

Jones has acknowledged that Infowars would likely continue broadcasting for only a few more months. Despite the ongoing legal battles, Jones remains defiant, claiming that the Sandy Hook families are attempting to shut down his broadcasts through what he describes as a “made-up kangaroo court debt.”

The bankruptcy judge in Houston recently allowed Jones to liquidate his personal assets to help pay the nearly $1.5 billion owed to the Sandy Hook families. However, the judge dismissed a separate bankruptcy case for Free Speech Systems, focusing instead on maximizing the value of Jones’ assets for the benefit of the creditors.

Judge Christopher Lopez, who presided over the case, noted the complexity and emotional weight of the situation. He emphasized that his decision was not about shutting down Infowars but rather about ensuring the best outcome for the creditors. Lopez approved Jones’ request to liquidate his personal assets but dismissed the request to convert Free Speech Systems’ bankruptcy to liquidation.

Some Sandy Hook families had requested the liquidation of Free Speech Systems, arguing that it would dismantle a platform that caused them immense pain and ensure a fair distribution of the proceeds. However, other families opposed this, citing the lengthy and costly nature of the liquidation process. Lopez concluded that pursuing state court rights would better serve the creditors.

As Jones is the owner of Free Speech Systems and is himself in bankruptcy, the families can go after the company’s assets. Ironically, the more money Jones makes from broadcasting on Infowars, the more funds will be available to pay the families.

For now, Infowars can continue operating, and Jones is free to express his views, including those about Sandy Hook. However, Jones’ personal stake in the company is part of his own liquidation process. The court-appointed trustee now controls Free Speech Systems, and it remains unclear whether the company will continue operating or be sold off.

Jones has stated that he estimates the company has up to five more months before a potential sale. He expressed hope that Infowars would survive under new management and ownership, allowing him to continue as a host.

The court-appointed trustee’s powers over Free Speech Systems are still uncertain, and further hearings will likely determine the extent of these powers. Regardless of the company’s fate, Jones still owes nearly $1.5 billion. If Free Speech Systems continues to generate income, those funds will ultimately go towards paying the families.

Marie Reilly, a professor of bankruptcy law at Penn State University, explained that once Jones’ bankruptcy case concludes, the families can use state court collection tools to obtain payments from Jones’ income and any property he acquires until their judgments are fully paid.

While Jones now acknowledges the reality of the Sandy Hook massacre, he continues to espouse dangerous rhetoric and conspiracy theories on his platforms. Recently, he fantasized about executing Dr. Anthony Fauci and others who he claims “lied to Trump.”

Even if Infowars is shut down, Jones can continue posting on his X account, which was restored by Elon Musk, or join other high-profile platforms. Earlier this month, Tucker Carlson announced that Jones would join him on a national live speaking tour, although Jones was quietly dropped from the tour without explanation.

In summary, the court trustee’s decision to shut down and liquidate Infowars marks a significant step in addressing the nearly $1.5 billion owed to the Sandy Hook families. The process will be closely monitored to ensure an orderly and fair distribution of assets.

Source: UPI, CNN, BBC News

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