Families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre claimed on Thursday that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones embezzled millions of dollars to enrich himself from his business which has now filed for bankruptcy as the families try to seek damages through defamation suits.
The families filed a petition in federal bankruptcy court in Houston asking the bankruptcy trustee to take control of Free Speech Systems (FSS), the parent company of the far-right Infowars website owned by Jones, and appoint a tort plaintiffs committee to represent the interests of families and other creditors in the collection of payments.
The FSS filed for bankruptcy late last month as the families of many of the victims of the shooting, which Jones falsely claimed was a hoax, filed multiple libel lawsuits in Connecticut and Texas seeking damages- interest for false claims.
“As long as FSS owns its assets and controls its operations, the prospects for a full and fair recovery for the Sandy Hook families remain threatened,” the motion reads.
The motion also included a family member of a person Jones had misidentified as the shooter in the Parkland massacre in February 2018. That person died in a house fire in May.
Lawyers for the families said that while the lawsuits were pending last summer, the FSS made “fraudulent transfers” to PQPR Holdings Limited, an entity operated directly and indirectly by Jones and his parents.
Seventy-two percent of the transfers ultimately went to Jones, and the rest went to his parents, according to the motion.
“Since the Sandy Hook families commenced their lawsuits, the debtor has consistently transferred millions of dollars to Alex Jones and his relatives and insider entities,” the families’ attorneys wrote in the filing.
The motion also alleges that Jones “compresses[d]FSS in bankruptcy proceedings designed to provide additional protections for small business debtors days before a Texas jury orders Jones to pay millions of dollars in damages in a defamation case.
The jury in the defamation case, filed by the parents of one of the children killed at Sandy Hook, ordered Jones to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages earlier this month to the parents and $4.1 million more for the pain he caused them. false statements.
The order would have increased debt enough to prevent the company from taking advantage of small business protections, according to the motion.
“FSS’s conduct before and since filing for this bankruptcy reveals an uncontrollable debtor that is still being operated by Jones for Jones’s sole benefit,” the petition reads.
The Hill has contacted Jones’ attorneys for comment.