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Judge approves liquidation of Alex Jones’ personal assets to pay Sandy Hook victims’ families – CNN

Published June 14, 2024 By admin

CNN

A Texas bankruptcy court judge has approved the liquidation of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ personal assets, setting the stage for repayment to the families of Sandy Hook shooting victims. Last week, Jones agreed to convert his personal bankruptcy into a Chapter 7 liquidation. Judge Christopher Lopez on Friday agreed to that move. Jones’ decision to seek bankruptcy protection comes after he agreed to demands from the families of Sandy Hook victims, whom he owes more than $1 billion in damages he caused by lying about the 2012 school massacre.

The judge said an interim trustee will be appointed to oversee Jones’ estate, as is standard in these cases. Jones’ attorney Vickie Driver told the court $2.8 million from the sale of Jones’ ranch could be sent to the trustee. The seismic ruling paves the way for Jones to give up Infowars, the influential conspiracy empire he founded in the late 1990s. Over the years, Jones has used the media company to poison the public discourse with lies and conspiracy theories, and he also enriched himself, making millions of dollars in the process.

Judge Lopez on Friday will consider liquidating Jones’ company Free Speech Systems, the parent company of Infowars, to pay the judgments to the Sandy Hook families. Jones acknowledged Friday that his most famous media property is likely to go away as part of his ongoing bankruptcy case. “This is probably the end of Infowars here very, very soon,” Jones told reporters just before he entered the bankruptcy court in Houston Friday, but added, “It’s just the beginning of my fight against tyranny.”

Regardless of whether the judge ultimately liquidates InfoWars, whatever proceeds are gained from a sale of the company will amount to just a fraction of what he owes families of Sandy Hook victims. Still, the families, who have not received payment of the approximately $1.5 billion in judgments they have won, have pushed for InfoWars’ liquidation, along with Free Speech Systems, Infowars’ parent company. The families argued to the court that there is “no prospect” the Jones’ company could produce a proper reorganization plan under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which would allow the company to remain operational through its restructuring.

Although the trustee could opt to sell the entire company to a potential buyer, the attorneys representing Sandy Hook families expect that Jones’ Infowars empire will be sold off piece by piece, with the proceeds going to their clients. That would make it unlikely – but not impossible – that InfoWars could continue operating, even in a liquidation. The process of shutting down Infowars could play out quickly. A court-appointed trustee would be tasked with securing the assets and then selling off Jones’ media empire, including the website, studio space and broadcasting equipment.

Nothing the judge would rule on Friday would prevent Jones from spreading conspiracy theories and lies online. X CEO Elon Musk restored Jones’ social media account in December 2023 after a five-year ban from the platform. And Jones could go on any number of far-right outlets to share his outlandish views. But the Sandy Hook families are hoping to seize Jones’ social media accounts, arguing they are a key part of his InfoWars business that allow Jones to promote his brand. And Jones may not be welcome at some venues: He had been listed as a guest on the Milwaukee stop on Tucker Carlson’s live tour but was recently dropped from the lineup without explanation.

Since founding Infowars in the late 1990s, Jones has pushed several conspiracy theories, including the lie that the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, mass school shooting was a so-called “false flag” operation staged by the government and that the grieving family members of 20 child victims were “actors.” Jones makes money on those conspiracy theories by hawking high-priced dietary supplements to his audience.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

SOURCE: CNN

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