Right-wing conspiracy theorist already ordered to pay $4.11m in compensatory damages
The right-wing conspiracy theorist was ordered to pay $4.11m in compensatory damages to the family of a six-year-old victim of the school shooting on Thursday.
And during Friday’s hearing on punitive damages, an expert testified on the extent of the Infowars founder’s wealth.
Mr Jones was found liable in default by a judge last year after he refused to provide the court with evidence during discovery.
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose six-year-old son Jesse was among the 20 students and six adults killed in the mass shooting, sued Mr Jones and his media company for the claims he has made that the massacre was a “false flag” operation and that the victims did not actually exist.
They had asked for $150m in compensatory damages, and now the jury will decide on punitive damages, which are designed to deter harmful behavior.
Bernard Pettingill, a forensic economist, told the court that it was hard to assess Mr Jones’ wealth as he had provided little information to the court.
But he told the jury that his estimation was that Infowars made $64m last year and that Mr Jones’ media company Free Speech Systems was worth between $135m and $270m.
“As much of a maverick that he is, as much of an outsider that he is, he is a very successful man,” Mr Pettingill said of Mr Jones.
He also compared him to Leonardo DiCaprio’s con-man character in Catch Me If You Can .
“You cannot separate Alex Jones from the companies. He monetised his shtick, his methodology. He was first to the game,” he told the jury.
He went on to estimate that Mr Jones’ personal worth was between $70m and $140m and that he had brought in $165m from September 2015 to December 2018.
Mr Pettingil told the court that Mr Jones had withdrawn $61.9m from Free Speech Systems in 2021, the war in which the default judgement was made against him.
“That number represents in my opinion, a value, a value of Alex Jones’ net worth,” said Mr Pettingill.
He also testified that Mr Jones had withdrawn another $18m from his company between 2015 et 2018.
He also alleged that Mr Jones had transferred $11,000 a day into the shell company, which lawyers for Mr Jones said was in fact a real company.