Inside Alex Jones’ murky millions from peddling twisted conspiracies as Infowars nut is ordered to pay victims $1BILLION | The Sun
ALEX Jones made himself enormously wealthy by peddling lies and loopy conspiracies – then tried to hide it in a murky web of shell companies, lawyers claim.
The Infowars shock jock claimed yesterday "there ain't no money" after jurors ordered him to pay almost $1billion to victims of the Sandy Hook school massacre.
He claims he is broke but flew by private jet with his entourage from Texas to give bombastic evidence at the defamation trial in Connecticut.
They stayed in a lavish rented villa with a pool and tennis court, according to the New York Times.
Jones, 48, is said to be a multimillionaire off the back of his Infowars fake news website, radio show and lucrative merchandising.
He has bought a string of luxury houses in the Austin area for him and his relatives, reports say.
But he was shamelessly hawking for yet more money from his followers as he livestreamed the jury's ruling yesterday.
He mocked the parents of murdered children for trying to get “blood from a stone” and urged viewers to donate to “save Infowars”.
“Your pennies counter their millions,” Jones said.
He had already tried to profit off the trial, using it to flog books, supplements and commemorative coins.
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He even created an ad for a cryptocurrency donation page – with proceeds going directly to his personal account – using video clips of his own heated court testimony, reports CT Insider.
Jones – who already owes $49million in damages after a separate Sandy Hook lawsuit – claims he cannot afford to pay and vowed to tie families “in court for years”.
He claimed in court any award for damages over $2million would "sink" Infowars.
Forensic accountants estimated Jones and Free Speech Systems – the parent company that owns Infowars – are worth up to $270million.
But in July, the company filed for bankruptcy protection in a move lawyers claimed was a delaying tactic to frustrate damages claims.
Three months earlier, Infowars and two other companies linked to Jones also filed for bankruptcy protection.
Chris Mattei, attorney for eight Sandy Hook families, said Jones had “once again fled like a coward to bankruptcy court in a transparent attempt to delay facing the families that he has spent years hurting.”
Judges in Texas and Connecticut ruled the hearings to award damages could go ahead despite the bankruptcy filings.
Families sued him for outrageous lies that they faked their own children's deaths in the 2012 school massacre.
The devastating rulings should mean he faces financial ruin, but it unclear how much he will ever pay.
Jones claimed in court records last year he had a negative net worth of $20million.
Attorneys for Sandy Hook families have painted a very different picture.
Court records claimed his Infowars fake news site – with more viewers than mainstream media such as Newsweek – had revenues of at least $50million a year.
And his Infowars store, which sells nutritional supplements and survival gear, is said to have made more than $165million between 2015 and 2018.
Lawyers claim he Jones has tried to hide his assets while facing default judgements in the Sandy Hook lawsuits.
At the Texas trial, a financial expert testified Jones withdrew $62million for himself from his companies last year.
“We can’t put a finger on what he does for a living,” said forensic accountant Bernard Pettingill.
“He didn’t ride a wave – he created a wave.”
Plaintiffs' attorneys also alleged Jones had reported $54million in "dubious" debt to avoid having to pay up.
“After Alex Jones was sued for claiming the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary was a hoax, the infamous conspiracy theorist conspired to divert his assets to shell companies owned by insiders like his parents, his children, and himself,” a lawsuit alleged.
It also claimed he drew $18million from his Infowars company over three years — on top of the $600,000 salary he paid himself— starting in 2018 when the defamation lawsuits were filed.
Many of the suspicious transfers center on a mysterious company called PQPR, which lawyers claim is controlled by Jones and his family.
'Siphoned off assets'
Soon after Jones lost a bid to block the lawsuit in Texas, PQPR claimed Free Speech Systems owed it $54million — almost all of Infowars’ assets.
Free Speech Systems transferred money to PQPR, which paid it on to a series of shell corporations controlled by other Jones family members, according to the motion.
Lawyers claim it was a scheme to shelter Jones' real assets in an “alphabet soup of shell entities”.
They alleged: “They’re transfers designed to siphon off [Jones’] assets to make them judgment-proof.”
In February, Jones transferred ownership of his $3million luxury estate in Austin to his wife Erika Wulff Jones, according to public property records.
Built in 2006, the Spanish-style villa spans over 5,400 sq ft and is situated on over an acre of land with a pool and spa.
His other properties are said to include a $1.8million vacation home overlooking a lake 20 miles away from his main residence.
Jones also owns a $900,000 condo and a $610,000 four-bed family home in Austin, the New York Post reports.
He has reportedly sold off a number of other properties including a five-bedroom home in the Rivercrest area for $1.2 million in 2011.
In 2007 he sold a “masterpiece” 7,000 sq ft mansion in the upscale West Lake Hills district, which was later valued at $5.5million.
Despite his claim to be broke, Jones continues to live the high life.
In August he was spotted in Omaha, Nebraska, staying with his wife at four-star hotel, dining at the pricey 801 Chophouse and being driven around by bodyguards.
Yesterday as he livestreamed alongside the jury's rulings, he said he was "proud" as the damages total headed towards ten figures.
“If we don’t get to a billion, I’m not going to be happy,” he said. “I want to be the billion-dollar man.”
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