NewsNational & World NewsScripps News

Actions

Sandy Hook families offer to settle Alex Jones' $1.5B debt for $85M

The families offered that Jones either liquidate his estate and give the proceeds to creditors, or pay them at least $8.5 million a year for 10 years.
Sandy Hook families offer to settle Alex Jones' $1.5B debt for $85M
Posted at 7:15 AM, Nov 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-28 12:54:45-05

Sandy Hook families who won nearly $1.5 billion in legal judgments against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for calling the 2012 Connecticut school shooting a hoax have offered to settle that debt for only pennies on the dollar — at least $85 million over 10 years.

The offer was made in Jones' personal bankruptcy case in Houston last week. In a legal filing, lawyers for the families said they believed the proposal was a viable way to help resolve the bankruptcy reorganization cases of both Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems.

But in the sharply worded document, the attorneys continued to accuse the Infowars host of failing to curb his personal spending and “extravagant lifestyle,” failing to preserve the value of his holdings, refusing to sell assets and failing to produce certain financial documents.

“Jones has failed in every way to serve as the fiduciary mandated by the Bankruptcy Code in exchange for the breathing spell he has enjoyed for almost a year. His time is up," lawyers for the Sandy Hook families wrote.

The families' lawyers offered Jones two options: either liquidate his estate and give the proceeds to creditors, or pay them at least $8.5 million a year for 10 years — plus 50% of any income over $9 million per year.

SEE MORE: Judge says Alex Jones must pay Sandy Hook families despite bankruptcy

During a court hearing in Houston, Jones' personal bankruptcy lawyer, Vickie Driver, suggested Monday that the $85 million, 10-year settlement offer was too high and unrealistic for Jones to pay.

“There are no financials that will ever show that Mr. Jones ever made that ... in 10 years,” she said.

In a new bankruptcy plan filed on Nov. 18, Free Speech Systems said it could afford to pay creditors about $4 million a year, down from an estimate earlier this year of $7 million to $10 million annually. The company said it expected to make about $19.2 million next year from selling the dietary supplements, clothing and other merchandise Jones promotes on his shows, while operating expenses including salaries would total about $14.3 million.

Personally, Jones listed about $13 million in total assets in his most recent financial statements filed with the bankruptcy court, including about $856,000 in various bank accounts.

Under the bankruptcy case orders, Jones had been receiving a salary of $20,000 every two weeks, or $520,000 a year. But this month, a court-appointed restructuring officer upped Jones' pay to about $57,700 biweekly, or $1.5 million a year, saying he has been “grossly” underpaid for how vital he is to the media company.

Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez on Monday rejected the $1.5 million salary, saying the pay raise didn't appear to have been made properly under bankruptcy laws and a hearing needed to be held.

If Jones doesn't accept the families' offer, Lopez would determine how much he would pay the families and other creditors.

After 20 children and six educators were killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, Jones repeatedly said on his show that the shooting never happened and was staged in an effort to tighten gun laws.

Relatives, of many but not all, of the Sandy Hook victims sued Jones in Connecticut and Texas, winning nearly $1.5 billion in judgments against him. In October, Lopez ruled that Jones could not use bankruptcy protection to avoid paying more than $1.1 billon of that debt.


Trending stories at Scrippsnews.com