Alex Jones’ Infowars to be closed, assets liquidated

Alex Jones’ Infowars to be closed, assets liquidated

Alex Jones’ Infowars to be closed, assets liquidated

A US bankruptcy court trustee plans to shut down Alex Jones’ media platform Infowars and liquidate its assets to help pay the $1.5 billion in lawsuits Jones owes for calling repeated Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 as a hoax.

In an “emergency” motion filed Sunday in Houston, trustee Christopher Murray indicated publicly for the first time that he plans to “conduct an orderly liquidation” of Infowars’ parent company’s operations and “liquidate inventory.” Murray, who was appointed by a federal judge to oversee the assets in Jones’ personal bankruptcy case, did not give a timeline for the liquidation.

Jones has said on the web and on his radio shows that he expects Infowars to run for a few more months before shutting down due to bankruptcy. But he promised to continue his bombastic broadcasts in another way, possibly on social media. He had also talked about someone else buying the company and allowing him to continue his shows as an employee.

Murray also asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez to immediately end the Sandy Hook families’ efforts to collect the massive amount Jones owes them. Murray said those efforts would interfere with his plans to close the parent company, Free Speech Systems of Austin, Texas, and sell its assets — most of the proceeds going to the families.

On Friday, lawyers for the parents of one of the 20 children killed in the Newtown, Conn., attack asked a Texas state judge to order Free Speech Systems, or FSS, to turn over certain assets, including money in the bank, to the families. accounts and seize his accounts. Judge Maya Guerra Gamble approved the request, court records show, prompting Murray’s emergency motion.

Parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis was killed in the shooting, won a $50 million verdict in Texas over Jones’ lies that the shooting was a hoax in the scene of crisis actors with the goal. of increasing arms control. In a separate lawsuit in Connecticut, Jones was ordered to pay other Sandy Hook families more than $1.4 billion for defamation and emotional distress.

Referring to the families’ collection efforts, Murray said in Sunday’s court filing that “The specter of an on-the-spot seizure of FSS’s assets, including its cash, threatens to throw the business into chaos, potentially stopping it in its tracks. at the expense of his duties in Jones’ personal bankruptcy case.

“Counsel seeks the intervention of this Court to prevent value-destroying money grabbing and to allow an orderly process to take its course,” Murray said.

Murray also asked the judge to clarify his authority over Jones’ bank accounts. As part of Jones’ personal bankruptcy case, his ownership rights in FSS were turned over to Murray. Jones continued his daily broadcasts in the meantime.

It was not immediately clear when the bankruptcy judge would address Murray’s motion.

Bankruptcy attorneys for Jones, Heslin and Lewis did not immediately return messages seeking comment Monday.

Christopher Mattei, an attorney for the Sandy Hook families in the Connecticut lawsuit, said they support the trustee’s new motion. He also said the families were disappointed by the motion filed Friday in Texas court by Heslin and Lewis, which he said would “undermine” an equitable distribution of Jones’ assets to all families.

“This is exactly the unfortunate situation that Connecticut families (the lawsuit) were hoping to avoid,” Mattei said.

The families in both lawsuits, who have yet to receive anything from Jones, appear likely to receive only a fraction of what Jones owes them.

Jones has about $9 million in personal assets, according to the most recent financial court filings. Free Speech Systems has about $6 million in cash on hand and about $1.2 million in inventory, according to recent court testimony.

On June 14, Lopez, the bankruptcy judge, approved the conversion of Jones’ personal bankruptcy case from a reorganization to a liquidation, which Jones requested. Lopez also dismissed FSS’s bankruptcy reorganization case after attorneys for Jones and the Sandy Hook families could not agree on a final bankruptcy plan.

The bankruptcy cases automatically halted the families’ efforts to collect any of the $1.5 billion, under federal law. The FSS bankruptcy filing meant that the families would have to move those efforts from bankruptcy court to state courts in Texas and Connecticut, where they won legal rulings.

Jones and Free Speech Systems filed for bankruptcy protection in 2022, the same year that relatives of many of the victims of the school shooting that killed 20 first-graders and six educators won their lawsuits.

Relatives said they were traumatized by Jones’ farcical conspiracies and the actions of his followers. They testified that they were harassed and threatened by Jones’ supporters, some of whom confronted grieving families in person, saying the shooting never happened and their children never existed. A parent said someone threatened to dig up his dead son’s grave.

Jones is appealing the rulings in state courts. He said he now believes the shooting happened, but his right to free speech allowed him to say it didn’t.

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