Alex Jones suffered a massive legal defeat in a series of lawsuits brought by parents of Sandy Hook Elementary shooting victims who had been targets of his harassment campaign after he claimed their murdered children were government-sponsored crisis actors. The legal bill is now past $1.5 billion — and his InfoWars company, which runs his conspiracy theory webcasts and his product lines of survival gear and nutritional supplements, filed for bankruptcy last week.
But despite all of this, InfoWars is still fully operational — even hosting an interview with far-right rapper Kanye West in which he professed admiration for Adolf Hitler — and a new report by The Guardian looks into what's going on behind the scenes.
"If Alex Jones owes the Sandy Hook family over $1bn, how is he able to still broadcast? Why – for example – have his assets not been seized?" wrote Wilfred Chan. "On the Infowars website, promotions run between programs that promise Jones won’t be silenced despite the judgment, with clips of Jones shouting that globalist elites want to shut him not because of Sandy Hook but because he exposes the truth. Jones also claims he has no money to hand over. In an Infowars segment in October, he claimed to be worth less than $2m and called the judgment against him 'hilarious'. 'Do these people really think they’re getting their money?' he questioned."
"While nothing about declaring bankruptcy prevents Jones from going on TV, the declaration won’t get him off the hook from the court judgments – and could even backfire," said the report. "Brian Davidoff, a bankruptcy attorney at Greenberg Glusker who is not advising Jones, said he was 'befuddled' by Jones’ decision: 'I’m not quite sure how it’s going to help him.' In the short term, Jones is 'obviously looking for the benefit of the automatic stay', said Davidoff, referring to a powerful provision under US law that pauses any legal actions being taken against someone who files for bankruptcy (and, for now, means Jones can retain control of Infowars)."
According to the report, Jones may be hoping he can use these tactics to persuade a judge to discharge most of his debts, effectively nullifying the legal judgments against him — but that is not likely to work because his debts are classified as non-dischargeable. In fact, the legal proceedings he would have to go through to try to wipe out his debts could make things even worse for him.
"Jones’ bankruptcy filing will also expose him to potentially painful scrutiny, said Bradley McCormack, a Sader Law Firm bankruptcy attorney who is not advising Jones," said the report. "Filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy requires Jones to turn over detailed financial information to the US Trustee’s Office, the federal office that oversees bankruptcy cases. In addition to disclosing the businesses he owns and how his money flows between them, Jones will have to report past and future monetary transactions. And he’ll have to let the US Trustee’s Office and Sandy Hook families question him about his finances under oath. If Jones is found lying or hiding information in any these disclosures, he could be found guilty of a crime punishable by up to five years in prison."