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Alex Jones ordered to pay almost $1 billion to Sandy Hook families

Infowars founder Alex Jones and parent company Free Speech Systems have been ordered by a Connecticut jury to pay $965 million in damages to the families of eight victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. This is the largest amount to date that Jones has had to pay for spreading falsehoods about the 2012 shooting, The Washington Post reports.

Jones has been found liable for defamation for calling the shooting a hoax and alleging that the victims' families were actors, resulting in their harassment, reports The New York Times. The case presented a particularly bad financial "risk" for Jones, considering he was found to have violated Connecticut's Unfair Trade Practices Act (under which there is no cap on punitive damages), the Times continues. 

The damages were divided in varying amounts among 15 plaintiffs, with the largest portion going to Robbie Parker, whose 6-year-old daughter Emilie was killed in the shooting. For years, Jones mocked Parker and claimed he was an actor, the Post adds. A portion of the compensation also went to William Aldenberg, an FBI agent targeted by conspiracy theorists.

The Connecticut trial was one of three stemming from Jones' comments on the Sandy Hook shooting. A jury in Texas previously ordered him to pay almost $50 million in damages to the parents of a victim. His third trial is currently pending. 

Jones has put Free Speech Systems into bankruptcy, a move the families say he made to avoid paying damages, the Times notes.