Sandy Hook’s defamation cases have taken a close look at Alex Jones’ finances.

0
22

Alex Jones’ efforts to protect his fortune from legal threats sparked a warning from a Texas judge this week and new revelations about the finances of his disinformation operation.

On Thursday, an Austin jury ruled that Mr. Jones must pay more than $4 million in damages in the first of several defamation lawsuits filed by parents of Sandy Hook victims. Days earlier, the conspiracy theorist initiated Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in Houston for Free Speech Systems, the parent company of its Infowars media network.

Attorneys for the victims’ families, who said they were harassed for years after Mr Jones falsely portrayed them as actors participating in a hoax, described the bankruptcy filing last week as a diversionary tactic to delay other compensation lawsuits.

An attorney for Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis died in the 2012 attack, presented documents Wednesday showing Infowars was making more than $800,000 a day at one point in 2018 (Mr. Jones said it was). amount fell from a particularly lucrative period during the Conservative Political Action Conference).

Bernard Pettingill, Jr., a forensic economist and former economics professor at the Florida Institute of Technology, testified Friday that Mr. Jones is “a very successful man” and that his and Free Speech Systems’ combined net worth is likely between $135 million. dropped and $270 million.

See also  “Meteorology”: cumulus clouds and chances of rain until Thursday

Jones’s attorney, J. Federico Andino Reynal, said in his closing statement on Friday that “we haven’t been given any evidence of what Alex Jones actually has today, we haven’t gotten any of what FSS has today, what money they have, which assets they have to pay.”

But the testimony of Mr. Pettingill on Friday, as well as Free Speech Systems’ bankruptcy filing, yielded some important comments about Mr. Jones, including:

  • Since then, there’s been a “nice healthy uptick” in the company’s revenue, including sales of survival supplies and supplements, and it brought in more than $64 million last year, he said.

  • At one point, Mr. Jones paid himself an average of $6 million a year, Mr. Pettingill said.

  • In its bankruptcy filing, Free Speech Systems reported $14.3 million in assets as of May 31, with $1.9 million in net income and nearly $11 million in product sales.

  • Free Speech Systems also had nearly $79.2 million in debt, 68 percent of which was in the form of a bill from PQPR Holdings, an entity that Mr. Jones names as manager.

  • Last year, after Mr. Jones was found default liable in the Sandy Hook cases, he began funneling $11,000 a day into PQPR, Mr Pettingill said.

See also  Bernard Ndong makes a comeback after leaving Citizen TV

The “huge” loan from PQPR, a shell company with no employees, is actually that Mr. Jones “used that banknote as a chargeback to pay for itself,” said Mr. Pettingill, although Mr. Jones maintained that PQPR is a real company. Another note will ripen when Mr. Jones is 74 years old (he is now 48).

mr. Pettingill said he was able to track down nine private Jones-associated companies but had to gather information, in part because Mr. Jones resisted discovery orders.

“We can’t really put our finger on what he does for a living, how he makes his money,” he said.

“His org chart is an inverted T, meaning everything flows to Alex Jones. Alex Jones has made all the important decisions and I think Alex Jones knows where the money is,” Mr Pettingill said. “He can say he’s broke, he has no money, but we know that’s not true.”

Austin judge Maya Guerra Gamble reprimanded Mr Jones in court on Wednesday for alleging under oath that he was bankrupt while the matter was yet to be tried.

See also  Fight or Surrender: Taiwan's Generation Gap Over China's Threats

“You can’t tell this jury that you’re bankrupt – that’s not true,” Ms. Gamble told Mr. Jones after admonishing him that he lied about meeting the discovery requirements.

Jones and collaborators such as the Genesis Communications Network, which helped syndicate his show for decades, claimed to have the financial wire, using the defamation cases as an opportunity to beg fans for donations.

Mr Jones has complained that his earnings have plummeted after being banned from major social media platforms in 2018. Mark Bankston, a lawyer for the families, pushed back in court on Wednesday: “Well, after your deplatforming, your numbers are getting better and better,” he said.

Mr Pettingill agreed on Friday, saying Mr Jones’ “rabid” fans had helped keep his earnings steady even after he was removed from the platforms, in part through donations and merchandise sales during the Covid- 19 pandemic. Wesley Ball, a family attorney, later noted in his closing statement that his legal team had received a text message stating that Mr. Jones had made “nearly $4 million in one week, years after being kicked off his platforms.” .”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here