U.S. radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has transferred donations made in bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies to his flagship media outlet Infowars to his own pocket, according to a corporate representative for his business.
Brittany Paz, an attorney who serves as a representative for Free Speech Systems, the company that runs Infowars, testified in a Connecticut civil defamation trial against Jones. The trial was initiated by the parents of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Jones and his media outlet have called the tragedy “a hoax” orchestrated by the American government.
The solicited crypto donations go “directly to Alex Jones personally,” Paz said of the crypto donations solicited during the show, as reported by The Independent. “He doesn’t tell anybody where it goes or what he does with it”.
The attorney says that, since 2012, “there has been an increase in viewership” of Jones’s show which is also broadcast online.
Last month, in a similar trial held in Texas, Jones was ordered to pay some $49.3m in punitive and compensatory damages for his fake hoax claim to the parents of a child killed in the shooting.
To protect itself and its owner from financial losses, Free Speech Systems filed for bankruptcy protections in the first week of the first trial. An economist hired by the Texas parents who sued Jones testified that the company’s owner, his media brand and parent company are worth up to $270m, according to data obtained by British broadcaster BBC.
The Infowars website encourages the conspiracy theorist’s followers to “sponsor” the media brand “with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies”.