Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ latest bankruptcy plan would pay Sandy Hook families a minimum total of $55 million over 10 years, a fraction of the $1.5 billion awarded to the relatives in lawsuits against Jones for calling the 2012 Newtown school shooting a hoax.
The families, meanwhile, have filed their own proposal seeking to liquidate nearly all of Jones’ assets, including his media company Free Speech Systems, and give the proceeds to them and other creditors.
The dueling plans, filed late Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston, will be debated and challenged over the next two months, with hearings scheduled for February that will result in a final order saying how much Jones will have to pay out.
Jones and Free Speech Systems, based in Austin, Texas, both filed for bankruptcy last year as the families were awarded more than $1.4 billion in a Connecticut lawsuit and another $50 million in a Texas lawsuit. A third trial is pending in Texas in a similar lawsuit over Jones’ hoax conspiracy filed by the parents of another child killed in the school shooting.
The new bankruptcy filings came a day after the 11th anniversary of a gunman’s killing of 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012.
Relatives of some of the victims sued Jones in Connecticut for defamation and infliction of emotional distress for claiming the school shooting never happened and was staged by “crisis actors” in a plot to increase gun control.
Eight victims’ relatives and an FBI agent testified during a monthlong trial in late 2022 about being threatened and harassed for years by people who deny the shooting happened. Strangers showed up at some of their homes and confronted some of them in public. People hurled abusive comments at them on social media and in emails. Some received death and rape threats.
Jones’ lawyers did not immediately respond to email messages Saturday.
Christopher Mattei, a Connecticut attorney for the Sandy Hook families, said Jones’ proposal “falls woefully short” of providing everything the families are entitled to under bankruptcy laws.
“The families’ plan is the only feasible path for ensuring that Jones’ assets are quickly distributed to those he has harassed for more than a decade,” Mattei said in a statement Saturday.
Jones’ new proposal to settle with the families for at least $5.5 million a year for 10 years doesn’t appear to offer much more than what Free Speech Systems offered them in its bankruptcy case last month. He also would give them percentages of his income streams.
Free Speech Systems, the parent company of Jones’ Infowars show, proposed to pay creditors about $4 million a year, down from an estimate earlier this year of $7 million to $10 million annually.
The company said it expected to make about $19.2 million next year from selling the dietary supplements, clothing and other merchandise Jones promotes on his shows, while operating expenses including salaries would total about $14.3 million.
Personally, Jones listed about $13 million in total assets in recent financial statements filed with the bankruptcy court, including about $856,000 in various bank accounts. A judge recently gave Jones approval to sell some of his assets, including guns, vehicles and jewelry to raise money for creditors.
The families’ plan would set up a trust that would liquidate nearly all of Jones’ assets, except his primary home and other holdings considered exempt from sale under bankruptcy laws. The trust would have sweeping powers, including authority to recoup money that Jones has paid and given others if those transfers were not allowed by law.
The families have been complaining about Jones’ personal spending, which topped $90,000 a month this year. They also have another pending lawsuit claiming Jones hid millions of dollars in an attempt to protect his wealth. One of Jones’ lawyers has called the allegations “ridiculous.”
Jones is appealing the $1.5 billion in lawsuit awards to the families and has insisted his comments about the shooting were protected by free speech rights.