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Alex Jones requests that his personal bankruptcy be converted into liquidation

Alex Jones requests that his personal bankruptcy be converted into liquidation

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is asking the court for permission to turn his personal bankruptcy reorganization into a liquidation, which would involve selling a significant portion of his assets to help pay off some of the $1.5 billion he owes relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Both Mr. Jones and his media company, Free Speech Systems, filed for bankruptcy after the families of the Sandy Hook children won their cases against him. He repeatedly described the 2012 shooting — which killed 20 first-graders and six teachers in Newtown, Connecticut — as a hoax on his Infowars shows.

But Mr. Jones and the families of the Sandy Hook children failed to agree on how to resolve the situation, prompting Mr. Jones to file a petition Wednesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston asking a judge to transfer his personal case, a reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, to What was stipulated in Chapter 7, i.e. liquidation.

“The debtor does not anticipate that a resolution can be reached with other parties that have a sufficient interest to affirm a chapter 11 reorganization plan,” Mr. Jones’ filing said. “Given the lack of a reasonable prospect of successful reorganization, remaining in Chapter 11 will result in additional administrative expenses with no accompanying benefit to the debtor’s property.”

Mr. Jones's bankruptcy lawyers did not immediately respond to messages sent Friday seeking comment.

“Alex Jones hurt a lot of people,” Christopher Matte, the families' attorney, said in a statement.

For their part, the Sandy Hook families are asking the same judge to switch the procedure from reorganization to liquidation.

Judge Christopher Lopez set a hearing for June 14 in Houston to determine how to resolve the issues.

Mr. Jones' lawyers said the case also appeared to be on its way to being cleared, or could be dismissed.

Between liquidation and restructuring

Liquidation may mean that Mr. Jones will have to sell most of what he owns, including his business and assets, but he can keep his home and other personal property exempt from liquidation in the event of bankruptcy. The profits will be returned to its creditors, including the families of the Sandy Hook children.

Photo by Marcus Yam, New York Times Archives

Alex Jones has repeatedly stated on his web show Infowars that the Sandy Hook massacre – which left 26 victims, including 20 children – was a hoax.

If Free Speech Systems' claim is unsuccessful, the company will return to the same position it was in after awarding $1.5 billion in lawsuits and sending efforts to seek damages back to state courts in Texas and Connecticut, where the rulings were handed down. .

Mr. Jones has already decided to sell some of his personal assets to pay off his creditors, including his Texas ranch worth about $2.8 million.

But liquidating the assets of Mr. Jones and his company would collect only a small portion of what he owes to the families of the Sandy Hook children.

According to the most recent financial statements filed with the bankruptcy court, Mr. Jones personally owns approximately $9 million in assets, including his $2.6 million home in the Austin, Texas, area, and other real estate. He said his living expenses amounted to about $69,000 in April alone, including about $16,500 for expenses related to his home, including maintenance, cleaning and insurance.

Infowars' parent company, Free Speech Systems, which employs 44 people, had nearly $4 million in cash at the end of April. The company made nearly $3.2 million in April, including sales of nutritional supplements, clothing and other items that Mr. Jones promotes on his show, while reporting spending of $1.9 million.

Last weekend, Mr. Jones warned on his show that his company faced imminent closure due to what he described as a conspiracy by the government and Democrats linked to his bankruptcy cases. He urged his supporters to form a human chain around his Austin studio to prevent it from being seized, and said he was sleeping in the studio to protect against closure — which did not happen.

Judge Christopher Lopez ruled on Monday that Mr. Jones can continue working until June 14, the expected date for potential liquidation decisions.

Photo by Ilana Panich-Linsman, New York Times Archives

Alex Jones in his studio

Mr. Jones said on his show that even if the freedom of expression and information warfare systems were sold, he might resume broadcasting in another way.

Mr. Jones had proposed a bankruptcy reorganization plan that would allow him to continue operating Free Speech and Infowars systems while paying the families of the Sandy Hook children at least $55 million over ten years. Before this proposal, the families proposed that they be paid at least $85 million.

The families of several, but not all, Sandy Hook victims sued Jones and won both cases in Connecticut and Texas.

His relatives said they were traumatized by Jones' comments and the actions of his supporters. They testified at the trials that they were harassed and threatened by Mr. Jones' supporters, some of whom confronted the grieving families in person, saying the shootings never happened and their children never existed.