Alex Jones Files for Personal Bankruptcy

The conspiracy theorist has been ordered to pay $1.5 billion in damages to Sandy Hook families.

Bree Fowler Senior Writer
Bree Fowler writes about cybersecurity and digital privacy. Before joining CNET she reported for The Associated Press and Consumer Reports. A Michigan native, she's a long-suffering Detroit sports fan, world traveler, two star marathoner and champion baker of over-the-top birthday cakes and all-things sourdough.
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Alex Jones' filing comes after the parent company of his far-right website filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

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Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Friday filed for personal bankruptcy.

The man behind the far-right website Infowars filed for Chapter 11 in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston, citing the nearly $1.5 billion in damages awarded this year to the the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre victims, according to The New York Times.

The families won a series of defamation cases against Jones this year after he spouted lies and conspiracy theories about the shooting for years.

Jones began spreading the lies just hours after the Dec. 14, 2012, deaths of 20 first graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, falsely claiming that the massacre was planned by the government as a pretext for confiscating Americans' guns and that the families took part in the plot. He kept lying for years, exposing the families to unending abuse and death threats from his followers.

Friday's filing follows the bankruptcy filing earlier this year by Free Speech Systems, Infowars' parent company. The new filing could potentially slow payments to the families, who would need to seek compensation through the bankruptcy courts alongside other creditors, but it could also force officials to take a closer look at Jones' finances and operations, the Times said.

Jones has long pushed back against demands for him to provide business records, financial information and other records. Earlier this year, another lawsuit filed by one of the families accused Jones of hiding assets by drawing $18 million from his company's accounts starting in 2018 when he began dealing with legal suits. It also accused Jones of claiming his company owed $54 million in debt to another company, which the lawsuit alleges is owned "directly or indirectly" by Jones.