InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones talks a lot about preparing for the apocalypse, selling his fans all manner of ways to stock their bunkers ahead of the end of the world. But now plaintiffs for Sandy Hook families suing Jones allege that he’s “doomsday prepped” his own business ahead of hefty legal judgments, illicitly moving money out of InfoWars into shell companies to avoid paying his victims.
In a court motion filed Wednesday in Texas, the families claim that he has concealed InfoWars’ assets to make the company appear to be nearly bankrupt. The families were joined in the motion by another man suing Jones for falsely accusing him of carrying out the 2018 Parkland shooting. The filing was first posted online by Courthouse News.
InfoWars didn’t respond to a request for comment.
On paper, InfoWars parent company Free Speech Systems seems to lose money every year. Yet Jones has allegedly transferred significant amounts out of the company—financial transactions that often coincide with legal setbacks Jones has faced in the Sandy Hook cases. After the families sued him in 2018, for example, Jones allegedly started personally withdrawing a total of $18 million from the Free Speech Systems bank account over three years, along with drawing an annual $600,000 salary.
Many of the suspicious transfers center on a mysterious company called PQPR, which the plaintiffs claim is controlled by Jones and his family members. Shortly after Jones lost his last appeal to block the defamation cases in Texas, PQPR claimed that Free Speech Systems owed it $54 million—almost all of InfoWars’ assets.
Free Speech Systems began transferring its money to PQPR, then onto a series of shell corporations controlled by other Jones family members, according to the motion. While the payments were ostensibly made to pay off the hefty $54 million in arrears—a debt PQPR hadn’t bothered to enforce in the seven years during which InfoWars racked up the tens of millions in supposed debt—the plaintiffs say this was just a scheme to shelter InfoWars assets in an “alphabet soup of shell entities.”
“They’re transfers designed to siphon off [Jones’] assets to make them judgment-proof,” the lawyers allege.
The debt payments accelerated after a Texas judge ruled before trial that Jones lost his case, an unusual step taken because of Jones’ repeated violations of other legal rules. Since that ruling, the plaintiffs say Free Speech Systems has paid PQPR between $11,000 each day and $11,000 each week, along with as much as 80 percent of InfoWars’ sales revenue. In their motion, the lawyers for the Sandy Hook families describe the payments as “jaw-dropping.”
The discovery of the alleged transfers marks just one in a number of legal headaches facing Jones as the Sandy Hook cases head to trial later this month. He has lost cases in both Texas and Connecticut by default judgment, meaning the upcoming trials will only be used to determine how much he has to pay the plaintiffs. In late March, Jones dodged a deposition in the Connecticut case by claiming he had a surprise illness, only to ultimately sit for the interview after a judge ordered him to pay $25,000 a day until he complied.