Alex Jones begs judge to allow him $1.3m salary from bankrupt Infowars

Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist Alex Jones begs judge to allow him $1.3 million salary from bankrupt Infowars parent company – after owing families $1.5billion for his 2012 ‘hoax’ lies

  • Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist and founder of Infowars, owes $1.5 billion in damages to families of Sandy Hook victims
  • In defamation trials earlier this year in Texas and Connecticut he lost his case, and Infowars’ parent company was declared bankrupt
  • On Monday, Jones’ lawyer asked Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez to restore his salary to $1.3 million a year, up from the $40,000-a-month he now receives
  • An attorney for the Sandy Hook families opposed the request, but the judge said he does not have enough information yet to make a decision 

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Monday asked a judge to allow him to take a $1.3 million annual salary from the bankrupt parent company of his Infowars’ website.

Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems LLC, both went bankrupt in recent months as they owe families of the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting a total of $1.5 billion in damages for falsely claiming the massacre was a hoax. 

Jones has said he cannot pay those judgments, which came after back-to-back defamation trials in Texas and Connecticut.

Jones drew a $1.3 million salary from Free Speech Systems before its bankruptcy, and his attorney asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez to restore his salary to that level at a hearing Monday.

Alex Jones on his Infowars podcast. On Monday his lawyer was in court trying to argue that he should receive a bigger salary from the bankrupt company he founded

Jones is seen in court in Connecticut on September 22. He lost his case, and has declared bankruptcy

Jones is seen on January 6, 2021, addressing the crowd of pro-Trump protesters before they stormed the Capitol

Jones has been paid a reduced biweekly salary of $20,000 since his company filed for bankruptcy on July 29, just over a third of what he had been paid before, according to his court filing.

Free Speech System’s monthly revenue has dropped to $1.9 million from pre-bankruptcy levels of $6 million to $7 million, attorneys from the company said, adding that it currently has about $1.8 million in cash.

‘We’ve really got to get back to that level of production to make this a profitable company and try to pay back our creditors,’ Jones’ attorney Vickie Driver said.

Marty Brimmage, an attorney for the Sandy Hook families, opposed Jones’ request for an increased salary.

Lopez said he is ‘open to increasing’ Jones’ pay but did not have enough evidence to make a ruling yet.

Jones claimed for years that the 2012 killing of 20 students and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was staged as part of a government plot to seize Americans’ guns. 

He has since acknowledged the shooting occurred, but plaintiffs said Jones cashed in for years off his lies about the massacre and subjected them to harassment and stalking by his followers.

Jones filed the Chapter 11 – a business bankruptcy – in Texas last month 

He listed his assets as being worth less than $10million but his debts as more than $1billion 

The Infowars host filed a Chapter 11 in Texas on November 30, just a few months after being told to pay $965million in compensation and an additional $473million in punitive damages. 

He listed his assets as being worth between $1million and $10million and his debts between $1billion and $10billion. 

Jones previously laughed off the judgements against him and said he’d never pay the fines imposed. 

TIMELINE: The legal fallout from Alex Jones’ false Sandy Hook claims

December 2012 – A gunman kills 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

April 2013 – Jones calls Sandy Hook a ‘government operation’ with ‘inside job written all over it’ during an Infowars broadcast, one of at least a dozen occasions when he and other Infowars contributors spread false claims about the shooting.

April 16, 2018 – Three parents of Sandy Hook victims file two separate lawsuits against Jones and the parent company of his Infowars site, Free Speech Systems LLC, in Texas state court.

May 23, 2018 – Fourteen relatives of Sandy Hook victims sue Jones and four entities connected to Jones in Connecticut state court.

Oct. 31, 2018 – Another Sandy Hook parent sues Jones and Free Speech Systems in Texas, where Jones’ radio show and webcast are based.

September 2021 – A Texas judge enters a default judgment finding Jones liable for defamation after he repeatedly flouted court orders and failed to turn over documents to the plaintiffs.

November 2021 – A judge presiding over the Connecticut case also enters a default judgment against Jones for failure to comply with court orders.

April 2022 – Five shell entities controlled by Jones file for bankruptcy protection in Texas, which would typically pause all lawsuits against them.  The case was dismissed in June after the Sandy Hook parents intervened, arguing it was a stall tactic.

Aug. 5, 2022 – A Texas jury finds that Jones and Free Speech Systems must pay two Sandy Hook parents $49.3 million in total damages after a two-week trial.

Aug. 29, 2022 – Free Speech Systems agrees to face trial in Connecticut despite filing for bankruptcy in July, which would normally shield it from lawsuits.

Oct. 12, 2022 – A Connecticut jury orders Jones to pay at least $965 million in damages to numerous families of victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.  

Alex Jones is accused of ‘moving millions to shield his wealth’ from Sandy Hook families who won nearly $1.5 billion in judgements against the conspiracy theorist

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been accused of shifting millions of dollars ahead of court judgements against him, in moves that could potentially shield his wealth from the families of Sandy Hook victims who sued him.

Ahead of recent court judgements against Jones totaling nearly $1.5 billion, the radio host began moving funds out of his company, Free Speech Systems, and into other companies controlled by him or those close to him, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

In one case, Free Speech Systems signed some $55 million in promissory notes for claimed debts to PQPR Holdings, a company controlled by Jones’ dentist father, according to the Post report citing financial statements, depositions and other court records.

The debt tipped Free Speech Systems into bankruptcy, and means that PQPR Holdings will be a major creditor in line to collect from Jones’ firm, potentially ahead of the Sandy Hook families in bankruptcy court.

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been accused of shifting millions of dollars ahead of court judgements against him, in moves that could potentially shield his wealth

Plaintiffs and their attorney react following the jury verdict and reading of monetary damages in the Alex Jones defamation trial last month

An attorney for Jones has said that the debt Free Speech Systems owed PQPR Holdings accrued due to sloppy bookkeeping, after PQPR bought tens of millions of supplements for Jones to sell on his radio show.

Free Speech Systems filed for bankruptcy in Texas in July. Some experts doubt the move will offer much protection for Jones’ assets, even if he is not able to pay the full judgments against him.

The Sandy Hook families have intervened in the bankruptcy case, urging a judge to freeze Free Speech Systems’ assets and investigate its finances. 

They claim in court filings that Jones pulled $62 million from the company while burdening it with $65 million in ‘fabricated’ debt.

The office of one of Jones’ attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment from on Monday afternoon.

Jones, who runs the website Infowars, faces massive punitive damages in defamation lawsuits stemming from his past claims that the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting was a hoax.

Plaintiff Francine Wheeler reacts as her jury award is read with her fellow plaintiffs in the Alex Jones defamation trial at Superior Court in Waterbury, Connecticut, on October 12

The bombastic radio host is now on the hook for a total of $1.49 billion in damages in two Sandy Hook defamation cases that went to trial this year. A third case is pending in Texas.

On December 14, 2012, a gunman murdered his mother, then killed 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School before killing himself. 

The conspiracy theories amplified by Infowars on its website, social media and a show hosted by Jones led to years of threats and other harassment of the parents of the murdered children.

Following a verdict in Connecticut last month for nearly $1 billion, a second verdict ordered him to pay another $473 million in punitive damages for his defamatory claims. 

In their request for punitive damages, the plaintiffs said Jones should pay the maximum penalty available for the ‘historic’ scale of his wrongdoing and ‘utter lack of repentance.’ 

Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis imposed the punitive damages  

Jones has since acknowledged the shooting took place but refused to apologize to the families during his trial testimony.

In a statement, plaintiffs’ attorney Chris Mattei said the latest ruling ‘serves to reinforce the message of this case: Those who profit from lies targeting the innocent will face justice.’

Jones’ lawyer, Norm Pattis, said in a statement that ‘the verdict was tragedy, this latest ruling is farce. It makes our work in appeal that much easier.’

Pattis has argued in court filings that the verdict is excessive and should be reduced. He is also seeking a new trial over what he says were unfair pretrial rulings.

Jones’ company, Free Speech Systems LLC, is also liable for the verdict.

The trial in Connecticut came two months after Jones and the parent company of his Infowars site were hit with a nearly $50 million verdict in a similar case brought by two Sandy Hook parents in Austin, Texas, where Infowars is based.

Source: Read Full Article