Alex Jones and his media company have a net worth up to $270 million, forensic economist testifies, saying the conspiracy theorist has monetized 'hate speech'
- Alex Jones and his media company Free Speech Systems have a net worth of up to $270 million, a forensic economist testified.
- "He is a very successful man," forensic economist Bernard Pettingill said of Jones.
Far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and the parent company that operates his Infowars website have a net worth of up to $270 million, a forensic economist testified in a Texas court on Friday.
The combined net worth of Jones and his media company Free Speech Systems — which filed for bankruptcy protection last week — is estimated between $135 million and $270 million, forensic economist Bernard Pettingill said during the Sandy Hook defamation trial against Jones.
"As much of a maverick that he is, as much of an outsider that he is, he is a very successful man," Pettingill said of Jones as he likened the broadcaster to 13th century Mongolian warrior Genghis Khan.
The forensic economist also estimated Jones' personal net worth between $70 million to $140 million.
"You cant separate Alex Jones from the company — he is the company," Pettingill told the court.
"He didn't ride a wave, he created the wave," Pettingill told the court, explaining that he believes Jones is a "revolutionary."
Pettingill testified that Jones "promulgated some hate speech and some misinformation, but he made a lot of money and he monetized that."
Jone was found liable for defamation by default by the Texas court and a court in Connecticut for falsely claiming the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting was a "hoax."
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis — the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, who was one of the 26 killed in the Newtown, Connecticut, massacre — sued Jones, the founder of Infowars, and Free Speech Systems for defamation over his falsehoods about the mass shooting.
On Thursday, a jury awarded Heslin and Lewis more than $4 million in compensatory damages; now Jones faces additional punitive penalties for his repeated falsehoods.
Pettingill, who was hired by the plaintiffs to testify about Jones' net worth, told the court that he tracked Jones' funds and found that Jones raked in $165 million from September 2015 to December 2018.
"It averages to $53.2 million-a-year, but that is the starting point," Pettingill said as he pointed to previous testimony in the case from Jones who told the court that Infowars took in $70 million in revenue last year.
Pettingill testified that he found that Jones withdrew $61.9 million from Free Speech Systems in 2021 — the year the default judgements were issued against Jones.
"That number represents in my opinion, a value, a value of Alex Jones' net worth," said Pettingill.
Pettingill said that Jones withdrew another $18 million from Free Speech Systems over a three-year period from 2015 to 2018.
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