A Connecticut judge has temporarily frozen conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ assets after concerns were raised that he was “looting” his estate and hiding some of the $965 million in damages he owes to families of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims, according to Bloomberg and Reuters, in the latest legal blow for the InfoWars host.
Judge Barbara Bellis made the ruling due to the possibility Jones is moving his wealth into shell companies run by members of his family.
Bellis ordered Jones to limit his spending to “ordinary living expenses,” according to Bloomberg.
Jones’ attorney argued in a court filing that Bellis’ move to freeze his assets serves to “bolster Mr. Jones’ contention that the results of these proceedings were rigged and that the court appeared partial to the 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 Thursday.
A Connecticut jury ordered Jones last month to pay $965 million in damages to several victims’ families, following a defamation suit brought after Jones falsely claimed the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, which left 20 children and 6 school staffers dead, was a hoax. Jones learned of the damages ruling during a live InfoWars broadcast, calling it “hilarious.” Jones claims he is worth $2 million at most, but forensic economist Bernard Pettingill Jr. testified at a separate Texas defamation trial that Jones is worth up to $270 million, primarily thanks to his Free Speech Systems, LLC, which owns InfoWars. Jones also lost the case in Texas, where he’s been ordered to cough up $49.3 million. There were already signs Jones was shifting ownership of his assets as the defamation cases against him proceeded—the New York Post reported in August that he transferred ownership of his roughly $3.5 million, 5,500-square-foot Spanish villa-style home in Austin, Texas, to his wife.
What We Don’t Know
It’s not known how this will impact Free Speech Systems’ bankruptcy proceedings in Texas, where many creditor claims have been temporarily blocked. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in July, listing $14.3 million in assets and $79.2 million in debts.