- A forensic economist testified that Alex Jones began transferring $11,000 a day in late 2021 to a so-called shell company he owned.
- A jury ordered Jones to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages for claiming the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.
- Forensic economists testified that Jones benefited from his debt by making him look worse than he actually was.
Infowars host Alex Jones began transferring $11,000 a day to a so-called shell company he controls, a forensic economist testified Friday that around the end of 2021, he assumed responsibility In several defamation lawsuits brought by parents of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
A jury was tasked this week to consider how much damages Jones should pay Neil Hessling and Scarlett Lewis — the parents suing Jones for defamation over his claim that the school shooting was a government-run hoax.
Following the dramatic trial, the jury ordered Jones to pay more than $4 million in damages — a fraction of the $150 million Hesling and Lewis were asking for. During the trial, Jones claimed that any amount over $2 million would “sink” his channel Infowars, but he was interrupted by the judge presiding over the defamation damages hearing. The jury ultimately ordered Jones to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages.
On Friday, the jury heard testimony about Jones’ finances as they continued to assess punitive damages against him – designed to deter similar conduct in the future.
Forensic economist Bernard Pettingill, who testified at the defamation damages hearing, said Jones’ net worth was unclear because he provided little information during the lawsuit.
Forensic economists estimate Infowars’ annual revenue to average $53 million, and Jones and his company Free Speech Systems have a net worth of $135 million to $270 million. While Free Speech Systems filed for bankruptcy last week, Pettingill said Jones’ $53 million in debt to another company Jones owns makes him appear to be in serious financial trouble, when in fact he isn’t.
“We can’t really understand how he made a living and how he actually made his money,” Pettinger said, but added that Jones “was a very successful guy.”
Pettingill also claims that the Infowars host was pumping $11,000 a day into a shell company he controlled, of which Payments begin in late September 2021. According to Huffington Post September 30, 2021.
Jones’ attorney disputed the claim, saying it was a real company that came of age when Jones was 74.