A Connecticut judge has temporarily frozen the assets of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones after concerns were raised that he was ‘looting’ his property and hiding part of the $965 million in damages he owes the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, according to Bloomberg and Reutersin the latest legal blow for the host of InfoWars.
Judge Barbara Bellis made the decision due to the possibility that Jones would transfer his wealth into shell companies run by members of his family.
Bellis ordered Jones to limit his expenses to “ordinary living expenses”, according to Bloomberg.
Jones’ lawyer argued in a court filing that Bellis’ decision to freeze his assets serves to “bolster Mr. Jones’ claim that the results of these proceedings were rigged and that the court appeared biased. to plaintiffs,” Bloomberg reported.
A hearing on the asset freeze is reportedly set for December 2.
Bellis ordered Jones to pay an additional $473 million in punitive damages on Thursday, according to Reuters.
A Connecticut jury ordered Jones last month to pay $965 million in damages to several families of victims, following a libel suit brought after Jones falsely claimed the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, which killed 20 children and six school staff, was a hoax. Jones learned of the damages ruling during an InfoWars live broadcast, calling it “hilarious.” Jones claims he is worth at most $2 million, but forensic economist Bernard Pettingill, Jr. testified in a separate defamation lawsuit in Texas that Jones is worth up to $270 million, mostly thanks to his company Free Speech Systems, which owns InfoWars. Jones also lost the case in Texas, where he was ordered to pay $49.3 million. There were already signs that Jones was changing ownership of his property as the defamation lawsuits against him continued New York Post reported in August that he had transferred ownership of his approximately $3.5 million, 5,500 square foot Spanish villa-style home in Austin, Texas to his wife.
What we don’t know
It’s unclear what impact this will have on the bankruptcy proceedings of Free Speech Systems in Texas, where many creditor claims have been temporarily blocked. The company filed for bankruptcy in July, listing $14.3 million in assets and $79.2 million in debt.