Fed Judge Makes Emergency Ruling In Alex Jones Case

June 4, 2024

After a tumultuous weekend filled with emergency broadcasts and dire warnings from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, a federal judge on Monday permitted Jones to continue operating his media company, Free Speech Systems, for another two weeks. This temporary reprieve comes as the court deliberates whether to liquidate Jones’ assets due to his ongoing bankruptcy cases.

The backdrop to this legal drama is Jones’ devastating legal defeats, which saw him ordered to pay $1.5 billion in damages to the families of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. These families successfully sued Jones for defamation and infliction of emotional distress after he falsely claimed that the tragic event was a hoax.

Faced with these enormous financial judgments, both Jones and his company sought bankruptcy reorganization. However, the families opposed Jones’ reorganization plans, filing an emergency motion on Sunday to convert the reorganization into a liquidation, arguing that Jones has shown no progress in outlining how he plans to pay the court-ordered damages.

Judge Christopher Lopez of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston announced that a hearing on this motion will take place on June 14. Until then, Jones’ company is allowed to continue its operations, including paying employee wages and other expenses. The judge urged all parties to “take the temperature down” in their heated arguments, highlighting the tension surrounding the case.

Over the weekend, Jones utilized his platform to broadcast what he termed “emergency broadcasts,” claiming that the federal government and the bankruptcy system were on the verge of shutting down Free Speech Systems and his Infowars broadcasts. In a series of profanity-laden rants, Jones even appeared to cry and called for his followers to form a human chain around his Austin, Texas, studio.

The conflict also involves disputes with a chief restructuring officer appointed by the bankruptcy court and PQPR Holdings Limited, a company mostly owned by Jones that supplies the nutritional supplements he sells on his shows. PQPR’s attorney argued for an immediate shutdown of Free Speech Systems, accusing Jones of being uncooperative in bankruptcy discussions.

Christopher Mattei, an attorney for the Sandy Hook families, accused Jones of manufacturing a crisis about the imminent threat of being shut down, noting that the dispute was between two companies owned by Jones. He highlighted PQPR’s claim that Free Speech Systems owes it millions of dollars for unpaid bills as a dubious debt aimed at complicating the bankruptcy proceedings.

Jones’ lawyers and the families’ attorneys have struggled to reach a consensus on resolving the bankruptcy cases. Jones’ legal team recently suggested that the cases might head towards liquidation or possibly be withdrawn. Liquidation would force Jones to sell most of his assets, including his company, with the proceeds going to his creditors, while a withdrawal would place Jones back at the mercy of state courts.

The Sandy Hook families’ lawsuits stemmed from the profound distress and harassment they faced following Jones’ false claims about the shooting. During the trials, families testified about being threatened and harassed by Jones’ followers, some of whom confronted them in person, asserting that the shooting never occurred and that their children never existed. Jones did apologize for his actions.

Financial disclosures in the bankruptcy court reveal that Jones personally holds about $9 million in assets, including a $2.6 million home near Austin. His April living expenses totaled approximately $69,000, including significant home maintenance costs. Meanwhile, Free Speech Systems reported nearly $4 million in cash on hand at the end of April, with monthly earnings of $3.2 million primarily from sales of dietary supplements, clothing, and other items promoted on Jones’ shows, against expenses of $1.9 million.

 

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