Families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting have filed a motion against Alex Jones, accusing him of diverting millions of dollars from his company to get out of paying damages in defamation lawsuits.
The families filed the motion Thursday in a federal bankruptcy court in Texas where Free Speech Systems (FSS), the parent company of the extremist website Infowars owned by Jones, is located. They accused Free Speech Systems of conducting “fraudulent” transfers to PQPR Holdings Limited, which is “owned and operated” by Jones.
“During the Sandy Hook cases against Jones’ and FSS, Jones drew between $18 million and $62 million from FSS,” according to the motion.
Attorneys for the families in the filing called for Jones to relinquish control of the company, establish a claimants committee to investigate and supervise the company’s conduct and allow a bankruptcy trustee to take control of its finances.
“Since the Sandy Hook families filed their lawsuits, the debtor has systematically transferred millions of dollars to Alex Jones and his relatives and insider entities,” the filing claimed.
“So long as FSS possesses its assets and controls its operations, the Sandy Hook Families’ prospects of a full and fair recovery remain in jeopardy,” the motion added.
The right-wing conspiracy podcaster has lost three defamation lawsuits for claiming the 2012 mass shooting, which left 20 children and six adults dead, was a hoax.
Jones now admits the mass shooting was “100% real.”
He signed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection petition earlier this month to shield his company, which is also his co-defendant in two of the defamation cases against him.
Jones could not immediately be reached for comment on the motion filed by Sandy Hook parents.
Jones attempted — and was forced to drop — a similar ploy earlier this year when he filed for bankruptcy for three of his other companies in a bid to force a quick, limited settlement with the Sandy Hook families. The U.S. trustee in the case argued that the action was part of a “scheme to limit legal liability.”
Jones boasted about his latest bankruptcy scheme in an Infowars podcast this month. He claimed he was setting up his businesses so that the families could only be paid a reduced amount, his Infowars podcast would continue, and the court battle would drag on for years.
A jury in Texas this month determined Jones owes a total of $45 million in damages. Amounts must still be determined in two other defamation suits in Connecticut and Texas.