Alex Jones ordered to sell personal assets over Sandy Hook judgment (2024)

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was ordered to liquidate his personal assets Friday, as a bankruptcy judge sought to force Jones to pay the roughly $1.5 billion in damages he owes for claiming the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax.

But Jones won another courtroom battle Friday, as the judge dismissed a separate bankruptcy case involving the parent company of Jones’s Infowars — meaning his far-right website will continue to operate for at least a little longer.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez said Sandy Hook families could instead pursue their claims against Jones in state court, without forcing his company Free Speech System into bankruptcy.

“I think remaining assets can be resolved outside of a bankruptcy forum,” Lopez said.

Jones had prepared his audience for a legal defeat, warning fans this week that Infowars was “a sinking ship” and that he was likely to lose the company.


Instead, “it looks like Infowars just got some extra time,” one of the site’s hosts, Owen Shroyer, said on air as news of the ruling broke.

A court-appointed trustee for Free Speech Systems this week urged Lopez to convert Jones’s bankruptcy process to a Chapter 7 liquidation. The trustee noted that Jones’s behavior in recent broadcasts had grown increasingly “erratic and more unhinged” and that such behavior could hurt the value of Jones’s empire, lowering the amount of money recovered to be paid to the Sandy Hook families.

Friday’s decision to liquidate Jones’s personal assets is a pivotal legal moment for the families of the victims of the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 young children and six adults were murdered. The families have for years sought to compel Jones to stop spreading harmful conspiracy theories about the shooting, and pay for the damage he caused them.


The fight over the Free Speech Systems liquidation, however, marked a rare legal division between Sandy Hook plaintiffs.

Sandy Hook families who won a judgment against Jones in a Connecticut court wanted the company to be liquidated, while plaintiffs who prevailed over Jones in a Texas case wanted the case dismissed, with their attorney saying they could better pursue the funds if Infowars remained in business.

In the hours leading up to Friday’s hearing, Infowars and its supporters treated the potential closure as a catastrophic event. An emergency siren on the Infowars website urged viewers to tune into the “potential last broadcast,” while Jones aired prerecorded interviews with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson and actor Russell Brand. The Gateway Pundit, a right-wing blog allied with Jones, claimed that the Sandy Hook families wanted to “silence” the conspiracy theorist.

Jones was facing mounting legal debt as he has tried for the past few years to dodge payments to the families. Despite making millions over the years with Free Speech Systems, financial disclosures from April show Jones’s personal assets had dwindled to about $9 million, including property, vehicles and inventory. The forms also reflect Jones’s heavy legal and administrative costs, including about $550,000 owed in April.

In 2021 and 2022, Jones faced a string of legal defeats in the Sandy Hook family defamation suits through default judgments and jury verdicts. In three separate lawsuits filed in Connecticut and Texas, victims’ families said they suffered as a result of Jones’s claims that the shooting was a hoax designed to boost gun-control laws, that the children weren’t dead and that the grieving parents were “crisis actors.”

Jones filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late 2022; he had filed for bankruptcy for Free Speech Systems earlier that year.


Ahead of his trials, Jones began transferring millions from Free Speech Systems to other companies controlled by his family and friends, The Washington Post found. Jones has made millions of dollars through Infowars, primarily through supplement and vitamin sales.

Jay L. Westbrook, a University of Texas bankruptcy law professor, said Free Speech Systems probably has little value in a sale if Jones is no longer promoting Infowars.

“The major asset of this kind of business is Jones, sadly,” he said, adding that there could be other value in the company from previous transfers of Jones’s property, though it’s hard to estimate.

Last year, Lopez ruled that Jones could not seek bankruptcy protection to avoid paying the Sandy Hook families.

In recent years, Sandy Hook families have waged various legal battles with figures like Jones and gun manufacturers that marketed and sold the high-powered rifle used in the shooting.


Families testified they had to move multiple times, pay for security, and often travel under fake names to avoid harassment and threats from Jones’s followers and other conspiracy theorists who embraced his claims. At a 2022 defamation trial in Connecticut, Jackie Barden testified that she and her husband received letters from people who said they had urinated on the grave of her son Daniel, 7, who was killed in the shooting. Another letter-writer embracing Jones’s hoax claims threatened to dig up Daniel’s grave to prove he never existed, according to Barden’s testimony.

Alex Jones ordered to sell personal assets over Sandy Hook judgment (2024)


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