February 21, 2024

  • Alex Jones began transferring $11,000 a day to a purported shell company he owns in late 2021, a forensic economist testified.
  • A jury ordered Jones to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages for claiming the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.
  • The forensic economist testified that Jones is taking advantage of his debt by making it appear that he is worse off than he really is.

Infowars host Alex Jones began transferring $11,000 a day to an alleged shell company he controls, a forensic economist testified Friday in late 2021, around the time he found liable by default in several defamation lawsuits filed by parents of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

This week, a jury was tasked with deliberating how much Jones should pay in damages to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis — two of the parents who sued Jones for defamation over his false claims that the school shooting was a farce orchestrated by the government.

After the dramatic trial, the jury ordered Jones to pay more than $4 million in damages — a fraction of the $150 million Heslin and Lewis sought. During the trial, Jones claimed that any amount over $2 million would “sink” the Infowars channel, but he was cut off by the judge presiding over the defamation damages hearing. The court ultimately ordered Jones to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages.

On Friday, the jury heard testimony related to Jones’ financial situation as they continued to assess punitive damages against him — aimed at deterring similar behavior in the future.

Bernard Pettingill, a forensic economist who testified during the libel damages hearing, said Jones’ net worth was unclear because of how little information he provided during the trial.

The forensic economist estimated Infowars’ revenue to average $53 million a year and put the net worth of Jones and his company Free Speech Systems at $135 million to $270 million. While Free Speech Systems filed for bankruptcy last week, Pettingill said Jones’ $53 million in debt to another company Jones owns makes it look like it’s in deep financial trouble when it really isn’t.

“We can’t really put our finger on what he does for a living, how he actually makes his money,” Pettingill said, but added that Jones “is a very successful man.”

Pettingill also alleged that the Infowars host funneled $11,000 a day into a shell company he controls, with payments starting at the end of September 2021. He was found liable by default in the Texas defamation cases around the same time, according to documents obtained by HuffPost on September 30, 2021.

Jones’ attorney disputed the claim and said it was a real company that matures when Jones is 74.

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