Lawyers for the families of Sandy Hook victims say Alex Jones has been shuffling millions of dollars between relatives and companies while claiming to be bankrupt. The families have asked a federal bankruptcy court to appoint a trustee to take charge of Free Speech Systems, the parent company of the conspiracy theorist's media empire, the New York Times reports. "Alex Jones is not financially bankrupt; he is morally bankrupt, which is becoming more and more clear as we discover his plots to hide money and evade responsibility," lawyer Kyle Farrar said. "He used lies to amass a fortune, and now he is using lies and fictions to shield his money."
According to a Thursday court filing, Jones "systematically transferred" $62 million into companies controlled by him and his parents after the families filed suit in 2018 over his claims the 2012 school shooting was a hoax. Jones put Free Speech Systems in Chapter 11 bankruptcy soon before the first of three trials to determine damages awarded the parents of one victim $50 million. Lawyers argued in Thursday's filing that the company had created a "fictional" $54 million debt to Jones-controlled company PQPR Holdings, which "performs no services, has no employees, and has no warehouse," to avoid paying the families.
The families are also seeking a court-appointed committee to restrict Jones' ability to control the finances of his Infowars outlet, the Times reports. According to Thursday's filing, Jones started transferring up to 80% of Infowars' sales revenue to PQPR soon before he lost defamation suits filed by the families in a default judgment last year. In a separate case, Jones lawyer Norman Pattis invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in a Connecticut hearing Thursday over the alleged improper disclosure of confidential medical records of relatives of Sandy Hook victims, the AP reports. It's "unusual" for a lawyer to invoke the Fifth during a disciplinary hearing, Judge Barabara Bellis noted. (Read more Alex Jones stories.)