Home Personal Injuries Alex Jones’ net worth is as high as $270M, expert says at trial

Alex Jones’ net worth is as high as $270M, expert says at trial

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AUSTIN, TEXAS— Alex Jones is probably worth between $135 million to $270 million and has been siphoning money from his main company, Free Speech Systems for years, especially after he lost three defamation lawsuits by default in 2021, according to an expert paid by two Sandy Hook parents in their lawsuit for damages.

Jones withdrew $65 million in September 2021 after Judge Maya Guerra Gamble ruled that he had lost the lawsuits to Sandy Hook families by default for not complying with court orders, said financial forensic expert Bernard Francis Pellingill, Jr. on the stand in a Texas courthouse on Friday.

“He has a rabid following,” Pellingill said. “He’s a very successful businessman.”

After awarding $4.1 million to two parents Alex Jones defamed on Thursday, a jury heard evidence on Friday on his net worth, which they have to consider when deciding punitive damages. The jury must agree unanimously what the amount of damages will be, the judge said. They began deliberations on the damages phase at around 1:30 p.m. Friday.

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Sandy Hook parents v. Alex Jones

The parents have asked for $145.9 million in punitive damages, which would bring the total award to $150 million. Jones’ attorney recommended $270,000 in punitive damages.

Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis won their defamation lawsuit against Jones, who promoted the Sandy Hook shootings that killed their son Jesse as a “hoax” staged with “crisis actors.” The trial that concluded Wednesday focused on how much the jury will award for intentional infliction of mental anguish to the parents, who are claiming Jones’ “lies” are causing fear, anxiety and post-traumatic stress, on top of the grief that comes with losing a child.

“You cannot separate Alex Jones from the companies,” Pellingill said when asked by a juror if Jones’ net worth was the same as his company’s net worth. “He is the company.”

Pellingill did not have access to financial records that Jones was supposed to file as part of the lawsuit. Instead Pellingill looked at what was publicly available, he said. Free Speech Systems is a private company, not publicly traded, so Jones does not have to submit paperwork to the state of Texas, he said.

He estimated that Jones makes about $70 million a year through Infowars and the various products the company peddles including health supplements and books.

Jones is carrying a $54 million loan he took out for one of his companies, which makes it appear that his net worth is less than what it actually is, Pellingill said. He also didn’t suffer any financial loses since being “deplatformed” — barred from several social media companies in 2018 for hate speech.

“He made as much money as before,” Pellingill said.

Attorney Wesley Todd Ball, representing Heslin and Lewis implored the jury to come back with a $145.9 million verdict for damages to bring the total amount with the $4.1 million to about $150 million, during his closing argument Friday.

They reached the $150 million figure by seeking $1 in compensation and $1 in punishment for the estimated 75 million Americans who experts claim don’t believe or doubt the shooting occurred.

That award would send a message not only to Jones but to other’s like him who promote conspiracy theories, Ball said. “It will make them understand that they will sit their ass in that chair and respond if they do the same thing Alex Jones did,” Ball said.

Jones’ attorney Andino Reynal pointed out that the trial has already discussed Sandy Hook for a longer period than had Jones broadcast the issue on the air. “He ran a story irresponsibly,” Reynal said. “He shouldn’t have done it, he explained to why it happened.”

Reynal wanted the jury to consider that despite the mistake, Jones was reporting on a topic of “national significance.” Reynal asked the jury to come back with a “fair and proportional” damages verdict of $270,000 based on the number of hours of broadcast — about 19 — that were presented in the trial.

The night before Jones said he was “maxed out” and couldn’t afford the $4.1 million verdict, let alone more in punitive damages.

“That’s more money than my company or I personally have, but we are going to work on trying to make restitution there,” Jones said on his Infowars platform after the $4.1 million verdict was read.

“What I did to those families was wrong, but I didn’t do it on purpose,” Jones said before giving his audience a pitch to send money to keep Infowars on the air. “We’re in bankruptcy, we’re all maxed out,” Jones said before adding, “if you don’t fund us, if you don’t buy products we will shut down.”

Jones’ Free Speech Systems filed for bankruptcy last week but the Sandy Hook families suing Jones in this case and two others have said the company’s debt is based on a “fabricated” loan from another Jones-controlled company.

In the first phase of deliberations, the jury decided compensation for Heslin for the loss of his reputation for Infowars coverage that occurred in 2017 — including a report questioning whether he held his son in the hours after he died. The 12-member jury also had to decide how much Heslin and Lewis should receive for the intentional infliction of mental anguish that spanned from 2013 to 2018.

The trial resumed Friday to determine punitive damages for the same incidents of defamation. The parents were in the courtroom throughout the testimony. Jones arrived at the beginning of the day but left after roughly 10 minutes of testimony and had not returned by early afternoon.

Heslin and Lewis have been in court every day with the exception of when mental health clinicians testified about the impact that Jones’ repeated contention that their son didn’t die has had on their lives. Both later took the stand to give heart-wrenching testimony about Jesse and his last hours before he was killed by a lone gunman with 19 of his classmates and six educators.

They are still in fear of Sandy Hook deniers and had to go into isolation under the protection of security due to “some encounters” this week, their attorney Mark Bankston said.

The $4.1 million will go to the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, Bankston said, referring to the non-profit started by Lewis’ following her son’s death.

“What a way to honor Jesse,” Bankston said. “To know that with this money that’s being disgorged from Alex Jones, school children across this country are going to be taught social emotional learning.”

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