June 24, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Alex Jones petitions to convert his personal bankruptcy into liquidation

Alex Jones petitions to convert his personal bankruptcy into liquidation

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is asking a court for permission to convert his personal bankruptcy reorganization into liquidation, which would involve selling most of his assets to help pay some of the $1.5 billion he owes to relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.


Mr. Jones and his media company, Free Speech Systems, filed for bankruptcy after the families of the Sandy Hook children won their cases against him. He has repeatedly called the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which killed 20 first-graders and six teachers — a hoax on his Infowars programs.

But Mr. Jones and the families of the Sandy Hook children have failed to agree on how to resolve the situation, prompting Mr. Jones to file a petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston on Wednesday asking a judge to convert his personal case into a reorganization under the chapter. 11 of the American Bankruptcy Code, as provided by Chapter 7, i.e. liquidation.

“The Debtor does not expect to be able to reach a resolution with other parties sufficiently interested to confirm a plan of reorganization under Chapter 11,” Mr. Jones is filing. “Because there is no reasonable possibility of successful reorganization, remaining in Chapter 11 would result in additional administrative costs without any commensurate benefit to the debtor's estate. »

Mr. Jones' bankruptcy attorneys did not immediately respond to messages Friday seeking comment.

“Alex Jones has hurt so many people,” the families' attorney, Christopher Matti, said in a statement.

The Sandy Hook families, for their part, are asking the same judge to change the settlement from reorganization to liquidation.

Judge Christopher Lopez has scheduled a hearing in Houston for June 14 to decide how to resolve the cases.

Mr. Jones' lawyers said the case was also headed for liquidation, or it could be thrown out.

between liquidation and restructuring

Liquidation means Mr. Jones will have to sell most of what he owns, including his business and properties, but his home and other personal belongings may be exempt from liquidation in bankruptcy. Profits are returned to its creditors, including the families of Sandy Hook children.

Photo by Marcus Yum, New York Times Archives

Alex Jones has repeatedly claimed on his online show Infoverse that the Sandy Hook massacre – which left 26 victims, including 20 children – was a hoax.

If the Free Speech Systems claim fails, the company will return to the same position after paying $1.5 billion in lawsuits and returning efforts to recover damages to state courts in Texas and Connecticut. .

Mr. Jones has already decided to sell some of his personal assets to pay his creditors, including his Texas ranch worth $2.8 million.

But Mr. The liquidation of Jones and his company's assets will raise only a fraction of what he owes to the families of the Sandy Hook children.

According to the most recent financial statements filed with the bankruptcy court, Mr. Jones personally owns nearly $9 million in assets, including his $2.6 million home in the Austin, Texas, area and other real estate. His living expenses totaled $69,000 as of April, including about $16,500 for expenses related to his home, including maintenance, cleaning and insurance.

Infowars' parent company, Free Speech Systems, which has 44 employees, had about $4 million in cash at the end of April. The company earned about $3.2 million in April, of which Mr. Jones reported spending $1.9 million, including sales of food products, clothing and other items promoted on his show.

Last weekend, Mr. Jones warned on his show that his company faces an imminent shutdown because of a conspiracy by the government and Democrats tied to his bankruptcy cases. He asked his supporters to form a human chain around his Austin studio to prevent a takeover and said he was sleeping in the studio to protect it from a shutdown — which didn't happen.

Judge Christopher Lopez ruled on Monday that Mr Jones could continue working until June 14, when decisions on possible liquidations could be made.

Photo by Ilana Panich-Linsman, New York Times Archives

Alex Jones in his studio

Mr. Jones said he might resume his broadcasts in another way, even if Free Speech Systems and Infowars were sold on his show.

Mr. Jones has proposed a bankruptcy reorganization plan that would allow Free Speech Systems and Infowars to continue operating while paying the families of Sandy Hook children at least $55 million over ten years. Prior to this proposal, families had suggested paying at least 85 million.

Many families, but not all, of Sandy Hook victims sued Jones and won two cases in Connecticut and Texas.

Relatives said they were hurt by Mr Jones' comments and the actions of his supporters. They testified in the trials that they were harassed and threatened by supporters of Mr. Jones, some of whom personally confronted grieving families who said the shooting never happened and that their children never existed.

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