Bankrupt Alex Jones spends nearly $100,000 a month

BBC News/February 17, 2023

By Mike Wendling

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has filed for bankruptcy but has nearly $10m (£8.3m) in assets and spends almost $100,000 (£83,000) a month, according to court filings.

He owes almost $1.5bn in court-awarded damages to relatives of victims in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting.

Details of his finances were laid bare this week in documents filed with a Texas bankruptcy court.

In previous court filings, he declared assets in a range between $1m and $10m.

The Infowars founder declared bankruptcy last year, and the latest documents include voluminous detail about his possessions, debts, outgoings and legal issues.

Mr Jones, who repeatedly made various false claims about the Sandy Hook murders, owns three properties in Austin, Texas, along with a $1.5m plot of land, three vehicles, two boats, two guns and a cat.

He's the sole owner of eight different companies, including Infowars parent Free Speech Systems, which has paid him an annual salary of more than $600,000 for the last two years.

In December, Mr Jones asked a court to allow him to take a bigger salary - $1.3m - from the company, which has also filed for bankruptcy.

The court filings show that Mr Jones also paid a total of $1.3m to settle debts with his wife and parents. He gave one charitable contribution of $2,000 to an Austin church.

One portion of the document notes that Mr Jones is "holding firearms for certain January 6th participants", a reference to the riot at the US Capitol two years ago.

No further detail is given about the unnamed participants, or how many guns he is keeping for them.

The filing also listed his monthly outgoings, which total more than $96,000, and alternatively list his occupation as "Media Personality" and "Dietary Supplement Sales". Infowars operates an online shop that sells supplements and other products.

The 49-year-old father-of-four's biggest outgoings include more than $40,000 a month in taxes, $14,000 on childcare and education, $10,000 on alimony and child support, and more than $7,000 on home upkeep and repairs.

The Sandy Hook families won a $965m judgement against Mr Jones in October last year, but legal experts say it will be difficult for the plaintiffs to collect the full amount because of the bankruptcy filings.

At a court hearing on Tuesday, lawyers for Mr Jones said he would refrain from putting out further episodes of a new podcast, in response to concerns by the Sandy Hook victims that he will leave Infowars and Free Speech Systems and use the bankruptcy cases to avoid paying settlements.

The Sandy Hook case is not his only legal trouble. The documents also list 18 cases that Mr Jones and Infowars faced in the year before his bankruptcy filing.

Next month a judge will decide whether one of those cases, a defamation suit filed by the parents of a Sandy Hook victim, six-year-old Noah Pozner, can proceed.

Noah's father, Leonard Pozner, became a leading voice pushing back against the conspiracy theories online. He was subjected to abuse and death threats and had to move home several times.

Lawyers for Mr Jones argue that another defamation trial - after similar cases in Texas and Connecticut last year - would hurt his income and thus his ability to pay judgements to other plaintiffs.

The BBC contacted Infowars and Mr Jones's lawyer for comment.

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