“It won’t work,” he added.
In the bare-bones filing, Mr. Jones estimated that he owed money to 50 to 99 creditors, a list topped by the names of the Sandy Hook relatives. His biggest creditor is Robert Parker, whose daughter Emilie died at Sandy Hook. Mr. Jones for years played a videotape on Infowars of Mr. Parker’s tearful news conference the night after his daughter’s murder, calling the grieving father an “actor” and the news conference “disgusting.” Conspiracy theorists who believed Mr. Jones’s lies tormented, threatened and personally confronted Mr. Parker and his family.
In October, the jury in Connecticut ordered Mr. Jones to pay Mr. Parker $120 million, as part of the $1.4 billion judgment.
Mr. Jones estimates his assets to be worth $1 million to $10 million in the filing. That number will almost certainly be challenged by the families, who said in their filing that Mr. Jones had siphoned nearly $62 million from his business into financial vehicles benefiting himself and his family beginning in 2018, when they first filed suit. In court in Texas this summer, a forensic economist, Bernard F. Pettingill Jr., estimated that Mr. Jones and his business were worth $130 million to $270 million.
At the core of his bankruptcy claim is Mr. Jones’s assertion that Free Speech Systems, which he owns, owed $54 million to PQPR Holdings, a company owned and operated directly and indirectly by Mr. Jones and his parents. The debt is fictional, the families’ lawyers said in Thursday’s filing, and “a centerpiece of Jones’s plan to avoid compensating the Sandy Hook families.”
Mr. Jones has become increasingly emblematic of how misinformation and false narratives have gained traction in American society. He has played a role in spreading some of recent history’s most pernicious conspiracy theories, such as Pizzagate — in which an Infowars video helped inspire a gunman to attack a pizzeria in Washington, D.C. — as well as coronavirus myths and “Stop the Steal” falsehoods about election fraud before the Capitol assault on Jan. 6, 2021.
Mr. Jones is under scrutiny by the House Jan. 6 committee and the Justice Department for his role in planning events around the attack on the Capitol, which he broadcast live.
Emily Steel contributed reporting from New York.