Alex Jones began funneling $11,000 a day into an alleged shell company he owns in late 2021, a forensic economist has 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 takes advantage of his debt by tricking him into thinking it’s worse than it actually is.
Infowars host Alex Jones began funneling $11,000 a day into an alleged front company he controls, a forensic economist said Friday, late 2021, around the time he was found liable by default in several defamation lawsuits brought by parents of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
This week a jury was set to deliberate on 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 hoax orchestrated by the government.
After the dramatic trial, the jury ordered Jones to pay more than $4 million in compensatory damages – a fraction of the $150 million sought by Heslin and Lewis. During the trial, Jones claimed that anything over $2 million would “sink” his Infowars channel, but he was cut off by the judge presiding over the libel damages hearing. The jury ultimately ordered Jones to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages.
On Friday, the jury heard testimony about 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 in the defamation damages hearing, said Jones’ net worth was unclear due to the little information he provided during the dispute.
The forensic economist estimated Infowars’ earnings averaged $53 million a year and estimated the net worth of Jones and his company Free Speech Systems at between $135 million and $270 million. As Free Speech Systems filed for bankruptcy last week, Pettingill said Jones’ $53 million debt to another Jones-owned company makes him feel like he’s in serious financial trouble when he doesn’t. was not.
“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 claimed that the Infowars host was funneling $11,000 a day to a shell company he controls, with payments beginning in late September 2021. He was found liable by default in the Texas defamation cases roughly around the same time, according to documents obtained by HuffPost on Sept. 30, 2021.
Jones’ attorney disputed the claim and said it was a real business that matured when Jones turned 74.
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