Alex Jones’ Infowars Files For Bankruptcy Protection
Jones is being sued by the families of several victims of the 2012 bombing that killed 26, including 20 young children, in Newtown, western Connecticut. It is the deadliest elementary school shooting in US history. The 20-year-old shooter committed suicide.
But Jones falsely claimed the massacre was fabricated by gun control advocates and the mainstream media, who he said continued a “false flag” operation staged by “crisis actors.” “.
The families accused him of hijacking these false claims while defaming their loved ones. Some said they were harassed and threatened after Jones posted segments online accusing them of being part of a hoax, with one receiving hate mail referencing the Second Amendment, according to a news segment CBS in 2018. They rejected Jones’ settlement offers.
Jones has since stated in a sworn deposition that he believes the shooting took place and claimed that he “almost had a form of psychosis in the past where I basically thought it was all staged, even though I now learn many times things are not staged.
Jones was found responsible in two separate cases, one in Texas, where he and Infowars are based, and the other in Connecticut, where the mass shooting took place. Damages have yet to be decided in either case, but an initial $725,000 was paid into a bankruptcy trust run by two retired judges, court records show, with $2 funding. million expected at a later date. The Texas court is expected to determine damages first, with jury selection scheduled for April 25.
Last year, a judge in the Connecticut case found Jones liable by default, citing his refusal to comply with court orders or turn over evidence, according to The Associated Press. Jones cited undisclosed health reasons for preventing him from attending either hearing. A $75,000 fine paid by Jones for not showing up was eventually refunded, according to the report.
According to the Chapter 11 filing, Infowars listed assets of less than $50,000 and liabilities of $1 million to $10 million. The filing named 19 people with legal claims against Jones and one person with a potential copyright infringement lawsuit. The other two companies’ filings list 15 overlapping disputed creditors. A filing for Infowars Health lists assets of $500,000 to $1 million.
In his online broadcast on Monday, Jones implored listeners to donate to Infowars, or perhaps buy a shirt or supplements, amid the series of judgments.
“We’re already maxed out, and I’m already spending my relief capital,” Jones said Monday. “And I’m very happy to do it, I’m honored to do it, but once it runs out, that’s it, we have to start laying people off and cutting stuff.”
Jones and his companies have spent more than $10 million in legal fees and expenses related to the Sandy Hook lawsuits, according to a filing.
“Given the limited cash available” for Debtors and Infowars, “there is a strong likelihood that efforts to seek judgment on the Texas actions will result in nothing left for Connecticut Sandy Hook plaintiffs or d ‘other creditors,’ said a court filing signed by Kyung Lee, an attorney for Infowars.
The bankruptcy filing represents a kind of moment of reality for Jones, says Imran Ahmed, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate. Jones has become a leading voice on the far right by reaching massive audiences on conventional social media, Ahmed said. It was banned from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in 2018 and now streams primarily through the Infowars website.
“He’s a guy who a few years ago was sitting on top of a multi-million dollar empire,” Ahmed said. “He’s another troll who’s been exposed and held accountable by the justice system, but the people who benefited from the traffic generated by his lies, misinformation and hate are still sitting in their offices in San Francisco.”
Others have expressed concern that bankruptcy could become a sort of loophole, allowing Jones to dismiss the lawsuit while continuing to spread conspiracy theories online. Businesses that go into Chapter 11 bankruptcy typically continue to operate while they try to get their finances in order.
“Why are people celebrating Alex Jones filing for bankruptcy? Do you think that means he’s broke? Far from it,” tweeted Ron Filipowski, former federal prosecutor. “It’s a ploy to try to avoid paying current and future judgments against him. That’s all.”
Between segments accusing the Ukrainian military of torturing Russians and a conspiracy theory involving Bill Gates trying to “depopulate” Africa, Jones devoted parts of his live show Monday morning to fundraising.
He urged his audience to buy shirts bearing the phrase “Alex Jones was right” and accused judges and the mainstream media of trying to silence him. It also ran an ad in which Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of former President Donald Trump, featured supplements. “I need your help to stay on the air,” Jones said. “We are in the critical part of the battle now.”
Late last year, Jones and Stone were subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the panel, wrote that Jones was considered a “person of interest” because of his coordination with two people who organized the rally preceding the attack on the Capitol and its promotion of Trump’s false claims of voter fraud.