Alex Jones files for bankruptcy following $1bn Sandy Hook verdict

Published December 2, 2022
Infowars founder Alex Jones speaks to the media after appearing at his Sandy Hook defamation trial at Connecticut Superior Court in Waterbury, Connecticut, US, October 4. — Reuters
Infowars founder Alex Jones speaks to the media after appearing at his Sandy Hook defamation trial at Connecticut Superior Court in Waterbury, Connecticut, US, October 4. — Reuters

Alex Jones filed for bankruptcy on Friday, less than two months after a jury ordered him and the parent company of his Infowars website to pay nearly $1 billion in compensatory damages to relatives of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting.

Jones filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors with the US bankruptcy court in Houston, a court filing showed.

The filing said Jones has between $1 million and $10m of assets and between $1bn and $10bn of liabilities.

In October, a Connecticut jury in a case brought by relatives of more than a dozen Sandy Hook victims ordered Jones and Free Speech Systems, the parent company of Infowars, to pay nearly $1bn in damages.

Free Speech Systems filed for bankruptcy in July.

In a separate case in Texas, a jury in August decided Jones must pay the parents of a six-year-old boy killed in the Sandy Hook massacre $45.2m in punitive damages, on top of $4.1m in compensatory damages.

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 with actors as part of a government plot to seize Americans’ guns. He has since acknowledged the shooting occurred.

The court filing lists the plaintiffs who won verdicts against Jones as his largest unsecured creditors.

Among them are Robert Parker, father of six-year-old Emilie Parker, who was awarded $120m by a Connecticut jury, and FBI agent William Altenberg, who was among the first law enforcement officers on the scene of the 2012 shooting.

In addition to the $1bn compensatory damages, Jones was ordered to pay $473m in punitive damages in the Connecticut case.

Connecticut judge Barbara Bellis had temporarily blocked Jones from moving any personal assets out of the country at the request of the plaintiffs, who claimed Jones was trying to hide assets to avoid paying.

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