Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was ordered to pay nearly $1 billion in damages to families of children that died in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, The New York Times reports.
A jury on Wednesday awarded $965 million in damages to the families of eight Sandy Hook victims, though it is unclear how much money they will actually receive.
Jones was hit with multiple lawsuits after claiming that the shooting was faked, leading to harassment and threats from his fans against the families.
It’s unclear how much money the families will actually receive. An economist in August estimated that Jones’ net worth is at most $270 million.
That month, Jones put his company Free Speech Systems into bankruptcy, claiming that a debt of $54 million — to a company he controls — made him insolvent.
InfoWars is estimated to earn about $50 million in annual revenues.
A Texas jury in a separate trial ordered Jones to pay $50 million to two Sandy Hook parents.
Jones livestreamed the verdict on his InfoWars show on Wednesday.
“$50 million! $80 million! Blah, Blah. You get a million! You get a $100 million! You get $50 million!” he mocked as the damages were read off.
“Do these people actually think they’re getting any of this money?” Jones said. “Ain’t gonna be happening. Ain’t no money.”
Jones then appealed to his fans to send him cash.
“The money you donate does not go to these people [the victims]. It goes to fight this fraud and to stabilize the company,” he said.
“This must be what hell’s like,” he complained. “They just read out the damages, even though you don’t got the money.”
Attorney vows to chase every penny:
Sandy Hook attorney Chris Mattei said the families may also get punitive damages along with the compensatory damages announced on Wednesday.
“We brought claims against him that his corrupt business practice hurt these families and he profited from it. And she will decide after having heard all the evidence in the trial whether punitive damages are appropriate here on top of the verdict that the jury returned today. And those punitive damages have no cap,” Mattei told MSNBC.
“His finances are going to come under a whole new round of scrutiny in the bankruptcy court,” he added. “And really whatever assets he has, and we think they're substantial, but whatever assets he has, these families are going to chase him to ground and enforce every cent of this verdict against him.”