Alex Jones owes $1.5bn and declared bankruptcy. So how is Infowars still running?

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At first glance, the disgraced far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones would appear to be finished. He’s been ordered in two judgments by a Connecticut court to pay nearly $1.5bn in damages to the families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school mass shooting, for the years he spent spreading lies about the incident on his show InfoWars – and making the families’ lives a “living hell”.

Infowars’ parent company, Free Speech Systems, declared bankruptcy in July, and Jones declared personal bankruptcy on 30 November, in a Texas court filing.

But the next day Jones was back on Infowars, seemingly unbothered by his potential financial annihilation as he chit-chatted with Kanye West in a gut-churning segment about how much the rapper “likes” Hitler.

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?

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. 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).

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