Alex Jones Files For Bankruptcy
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Alex Jones, the founder of right-wing media group Infowars, addresses a crowd of pro-Trump protesters after they storm the grounds of the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol earlier, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by
Jon Cherry via Getty Images

Infowars founder Alex Jones filed for personal bankruptcy Friday, citing the almost $1.5 billion in payments he was ordered to pay the families of children killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The conspiracy theorist filed the Chapter 11 documents with the Southern District of Texas months after Free Speech Systems, the parent company of Infowars, also folded over the summer, according to a report from The New York Times. Jones had asserted for years that the 2012 attack, in which the shooter murdered 26 people, including 20 children, was a false flag operation meant to help the government confiscate citizens’ firearms. He was ordered last month to fork over $473 million on top of the $965 million he had already been ordered to pay.

Jones owns between $1 million and $10 million in assets, but owes between $1 billion and $10 billion in liabilities, according to a report from Axios. The commentator owes money to between 50 and 99 parties.

News of the bankruptcy broke one day after Jones hosted rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes on his show. During the program, Ye praised Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in his latest tirade against Jewish people, leading Twitter CEO Elon Musk to suspend the former husband of Kim Kardashian from the platform.

The bankruptcy further decreases the likelihood that Jones will be able to make the payments to the Sandy Hook families, who he accused of working as crisis actors for the federal government. Christopher Mattei, a lawyer representing the Sandy Hook families, had celebrated the most recent decision mandating that Jones reimburse the parents in an announcement posted to social media. “Justice requires that he pay every penny,” he said.

Connecticut Judge Barbara Bellis said in a ruling that Jones’ actions were “cruel” and “persistent” over an extended period of time, establishing “the highest degree of reprehensibility and blameworthiness.” A separate order prohibited Jones from moving assets out of the country.

“The record clearly supports the plaintiffs’ argument that the defendants’ conduct was intentional and malicious, and certain to cause harm by virtue of their infrastructure, ability to spread content, and massive audience including the ‘infowarriors,’” Bellis wrote. “The record also establishes that the defendants repeated the conduct and attacks on the plaintiffs for nearly a decade, including during the trial, wanton, malicious, and heinous conduct that caused harm to the plaintiffs.”

Prosecutors asked Bellis two months ago to increase the $965 million ruling to $2.75 trillion, since Jones allegedly broke a Connecticut law banning the sale of goods through false statements. The figure was calculated by multiplying the $5,000 maximum penalty under state law by 550 million social media views Jones garnered in the three years after the shooting.

A separate jury in Texas ordered Jones to pay $4.1 million in compensatory damages and $45.2 million in punitive damages, a figure that may be reduced as a result of state laws capping the size of the penalty. Families of the Sandy Hook victims began taking legal action against Jones, as well as Free Speech Systems, the parent company of Infowars, four years ago.

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