Infowars parent company files for bankruptcy as defamation trial for Alex Jones' Sandy Hook conspiracy claims nears decision on awarding damages to victims

Alex Jones with bullhorn
  • Free Speech Systems, the parent company of Infowars, filed for bankruptcy protection Friday.

  • Infowars founder Alex Jones was found to have defamed several Sandy Hook families and profited from them.

  • The filing comes as a trial in Texas is slated to award damages to two families who won a judgment against him.

Free Speech Systems, the parent company of Alex Jones' far-right conspiracy theory website Infowars, filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday.

The move comes as a trial in Texas is underway to determine how much to award the families of two Sandy Hook victims who sued Jones for defamation and won a default judgment against him because he refused to comply with court orders.

Earlier this week, Mark Bankston, the lawyer for the two families, asked the jury to award his clients $150 million in damages — $1 for each person who believes false information about the Sandy Hook shooting that was pushed by Jones.

Bankston did not immediately return Insider's request for comment.

In the aftermath of the elementary school shooting — in which 26 people were killed — Jones baselessly claimed the incident was staged and accused the people involved of being actors. The Newtown, Connecticut, shooting was the deadliest elementary school shooting in US history.

The Infowars founder was already found guilty in four separate lawsuits in Texas and Connecticut in similar defamation cases last year.

Following those defamation cases, three other companies tied to Jones — Infowars, Prison Planet, and Infowars Health — declared bankruptcy, delaying court proceedings in what the Sandy Hook parents' lawyer previously told Insider was a stalling technique to "delay the inevitable."

The companies later dropped the bankruptcy claims after arranging a deal with the plaintiffs that they would only sue him and Free Speech Systems.

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