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Conspiracy website Infowars files for bankruptcy as Alex Jones faces libel lawsuits

Jones previously claimed that the Sandy Hook school shootings did not happen.

CONSPIRACY WEBSITE INFOWARS has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as the website’s founder, Alex Jones, faces defamation lawsuits over his comments that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax.

The bankruptcy filing on Sunday in Texas puts civil litigation on hold while the business reorganises its finances.

In its court filing, Infowars said it had estimated assets of $50,000 (about €46,330) or less and estimated liabilities of $1 million (around €927,000) to $10 million (€9.27 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.

The plaintiffs in that case have said they have been subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones’ followers because of the hoax conspiracy that Jones promoted.

“Alex Jones is just delaying the inevitable: a public trial in which he will be held accountable for his profit-driven campaign of lies against the Sandy Hook families who have brought this lawsuit,” said Christopher Mattei, who represents the families in a Connecticut lawsuit against Jones.

An attorney for Jones did not immediately return a message seeking comment on Monday.

Jones has since conceded the shooting did happen. The families have already won defamation lawsuits against Jones.

Last month, Jones was fined $75,000 (€69,500) for failing to appear for a deposition in a defamation case but a judge last week ordered the return of the money because Jones eventually showed up.

Another newly filed lawsuit accuses Jones of hiding millions of dollars in assets, but an attorney for Jones has called that allegation “ridiculous”.

Neil Heslin, whose six-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, died in the Newtown school shooting, said he did not immediately know how the bankruptcy will affect his defamation lawsuit against Jones in Texas, where a trial on how much money in damages Jones should pay the families is set to begin next week.

“It is what it is,” Heslin said. “We’ll see where it all goes. He’s tried everything to avoid everything.”