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Friday, September 15, 2023

Alex Jones spent $93,000 in July as Sandy Hook families haven’t been paid $1.5 billion - The Washington Post

Alex Jones spent $93,000 in July, but hasn’t paid Sandy Hook families

Infowars founder Alex Jones during the Sandy Hook defamation damages trial in Waterbury, Conn., in September 2022. (Tyler Sizemore/Hearst Connecticut Media/AP) 

"Infowars founder Alex Jones spent more than $93,000 in July at a time when families of victims of the mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary School have yet to receive a dime of the nearly $1.5 billion he owes them, court records show.

The right-wing conspiracy theorist spent $93,180 for the month, including thousands of dollars toward payments to his wife, housekeeping, meals and entertainment, according to an Aug. 29 court filing from lawyers of the families obtained by The Washington Post. The family’s lawyers say Jones’s personal spending in May and June also reflected that he has not taken his legal fees into consideration, as he spent $63,925 and $85,114, respectively. In total, Jones’s personal spending between May and July was $242,219.

Jones, who has been ordered to pay nearly $1.5 billion to the families after years of saying the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Conn., was a hoax, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Southern District of Texas last December. He continues to tell his Infowars audience that he has money problems, urging them to buy his products to support his cause. Jones’s personal net worth is around $14 million, according to financial documents filed by Jones and his bankruptcy lawyers.

“If anything, I like to go to nice restaurants. That is my deal,” Jones said on his Tuesday show, as he urged his listeners to donate more to his legal fight. “I like to go on a couple of nice vacations a year, but I think I pretty much have earned that in this fight.”

But attorneys for the Sandy Hook families allege that the $15,184 in July payments to his wife, Erika Wulff Jones, represented “fraudulent transfers” under a claimed prenuptial agreement.

“It is disturbing that Alex Jones continues to spend money on excessive household expenditures and his extravagant lifestyle when that money rightfully belongs to the families he spent years tormenting,” Christopher Mattei, a Connecticut lawyer for the families, told The Post in a statement. “The families are increasingly concerned and will continue to contest these matters in court.”

Jones’s bankruptcy attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday morning. The Associated Press was the first to report the story.

The news comes as Infowars host Owen Shroyer was sentenced Tuesday to two months in jail after joining a mob of angry Donald Trump supporters during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Federal prosecutors said Shroyer “helped create January 6” by lacing 2020 election conspiracy theories with calls for violence to a large internet following. During the sentencing, a judge said Shroyer “did play a role in amping up the crowd on the steps” on the day of the riot, leading chants of “1776!” through a megaphone near Jones on the east side of the Capitol.

Sandy Hook families were awarded nearly $1.5 billion in liabilities last year for Jones’s false theories about the 2012 school shooting. Jones is appealing the ruling. It came after they testified about years of threats and harassment from Jones’s followers, who accused the family members of being “crisis actors” whose children never existed.

After Free Speech Systems, the parent company of Infowars, filed for bankruptcy in July 2022, Jones did the same in December, marking $969 million in bankruptcy claims that he owed to 17 people in the Sandy Hook cases as “disputed.” Jones claimed his estimated debts to be between $1 billion and $10 billion, and said last year that his debts were primarily business debts and that he owed an estimated 50 to 99 creditors. At the time, he estimated his assets to be worth between $1 million and $10 million.

Within a year of filing for bankruptcy, Jones reported that he paid more than $1.3 million in debts that he owed to people classified as “insiders,” which include any relatives or business partners. Among those listed is Erika Wulff Jones, whom he married in 2017 and with whom he has a child. Alex Jones reported paying his wife more than $680,800 as part of what’s listed as a “premarital agreement.”

Yet Jones is still broadcasting, and Free Speech Systems is seeking court approval for a new contract that would pay him $1.5 million a year plus incentive bonuses, according to the AP. The new contract would be a significant bump from his current annual salary of $520,000.

In addition to the payments to his wife, Jones’s personal spending in July includes $7,900 on housekeeping, $6,338 on meals and entertainment, and $3,388 on groceries, according to the 12-page filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. Jones spent about $850 a week on groceries in July, lawyers allege in the filing.

Jones’s Texas lake house, which is his second home, cost him nearly $6,700 in July, including maintenance and property taxes, the filing says. His vehicles and boats cost an additional $5,600, including insurance, maintenance and fuel.

Yet Jones has told his listeners this week that he is in financial pain and pleaded with them to donate.

“I won’t be able to continue this show in a month myself if I don’t raise $1 million,” Jones said Tuesday. “We’ve raised $133,000 and we’re in the hole for $1 million. That’s almost a year of my lawyers taking the case.”

He claimed that he was also a “straight-up guy.”

“I’m not Lex Luthor … when it comes to finances and life,” he said."

Alex Jones spent $93,000 in July as Sandy Hook families haven’t been paid $1.5 billion - The Washington Post

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