VICTORIA, Texas (AP) — Infowars has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as website founder and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones faces defamation lawsuits for his comments that the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax.
Texas’ Sunday filing for bankruptcy suspends civil lawsuits while the company reorganizes its finances.
In its court filing, Infowars said it had estimated assets of $50,000 or less and estimated liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million. Creditors listed in the bankruptcy filing include relatives of some of the 20 children and six educators killed in the 2012 school massacre in Connecticut.
Plaintiffs in this case said they faced harassment and death threats from Jones supporters because of the hoax plot promoted by Jones. Jones has since acknowledged that the shooting took place. The families have already won libel suits against Jones.
“Alex Jones is only delaying the inevitable: a public trial in which he will be held accountable for his for-profit campaign of lies against the Sandy Hook families who filed this lawsuit,” said Christopher Mattei, who represents the families in a Connecticut. lawsuit against Jones.
A lawyer for Jones did not immediately return a message seeking comment on Monday.
Last month Jones was fined $75,000 for failing to appear for deposition in a defamation case, but a judge last week ordered the money returned because Jones eventually present.
Another recently filed lawsuit accuses Jones of hiding millions of dollars in assets, but a lawyer for Jones called the allegation “ridiculous.”
Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis died in the Newtown school shooting, said he did not immediately know how bankruptcy would affect his libel suit against Jones in Texas, where a lawsuit on the amount of damages Jones should pay the families is expected to begin next week.
“It is what it is,” Heslin said. “We will see where this all leads. He tried everything to avoid everything.
Associated Press writer Dave Collins in Hartford, Connecticut, contributed to this report.