Parents of children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre are pressuring a company with ties to Infowars host Alex Jones to disclose more information about its finances.
Sandy Hook’s parents, two with a nearly $50 million judgment against Jones, on September 9 filed an emergency motion asking the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas to compel PQPR Holdings Limited LLC to respond to their discovery requests.
Plaintiffs believe PQPR, owned by right-wing conspiracy theorist Jones and his parents, received millions of dollars from Infowars’ bankrupt parent company, Free Speech Systems LLC, after courts in Texas and Connecticut found declared Free Speech and Jones liable for defamation for calling the mass. murder hoax. They say Free Speech transferred its assets to keep them away from creditors, including the Sandy Hook families.
State courts have issued default judgments for some Sandy Hook families. In August, a Texas jury ordered Jones to pay nearly $50 million in damages to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose six-year-old son Jesse was among those murdered. The Connecticut court’s damages trial is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.
The plaintiffs served PQPR with financial discovery requests to seek grounds to recover Free Speech’s payments to PQPR and invalidate Free Speech’s alleged $54 million debt to PQPR.
Before the Texas court issued its liability judgments, “FSS had no recollection of this $54 million debt,” the plaintiffs said in their emergency motion. “But after those default judgments were entered in favor of the Texas plaintiffs, FSS recalled those ostensible debts and began paying PQPR approximately $11,000 a day.”
Judge Christopher M. Lopez agreed to hear the families’ discovery motion on Tuesday.
The families’ request comes as the ex officio PQPR aimed at restricting the financial investigation to a bankruptcy trustee, ex officio appointed in cases filed under subchapter V of chapter 11 intended for small businesses, remains pending. . On September 8, PQPR filed a request to expedite a hearing on the motion.
The Sandy Hook families call the request an attempt by PQPR to evade its obligations to respond to legitimate discovery requests.
It is also a tactic to avoid an earlier motion by the families to appoint a tort claims committee and strip free speech of the ability to make operational or bankruptcy decisions during the case, they said.
The case is In re Free Speech Systems LLC, Bankr. SD Tex., No. 4:22-60043, petition filed 09/09/22.