A man who spread conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook shooting and allegedly harassed victims’ families was arrested Monday morning in Florida. The hoaxer, Wolfgang Halbig, was charged with “unlawful possession of personal identification of another person” and released after paying a $5,000 bond. The arrest was first reported in The New York Times.
Halbig is alleged to have repeatedly emailed the social security number, birth date, and other personal information from the father of one of the shooting victims to a number of recipients, according to the Times. The father, Leonard Pozner, reportedly now lives in hiding in part because of Halbig. He recently filed a complaint against Halbig, according to the report.
“For five years, he has used my most personal and private details to incentivize and enable other hoaxers and conspiracy theorists to hunt, abuse and terrorize myself and my family,” Pozner said in a statement to the Times.
Victims’ families have been taking hoaxers and harassers to court
Starting in 2014, Halbig was referenced and interviewed multiple times by Infowars, spreading conspiracies about the 2012 shooting that killed 26 people. The Times says that he has taunted the families of victims when they have challenged him, at times releasing their personal information and claiming their children are still alive.
Florida has a law that makes it illegal to knowingly possess another person’s social security number, credit card number, medical records, and several other sensitive identifiers without authorization.
Whether shooting victims’ families can get relief from the hoaxes and harassment others have put them through has been an ongoing question for years now. Late last year, Infowars founder Alex Jones was ordered to pay $100,000 in legal fees as part of a defamation lawsuit filed by parents of one of the children who was killed in the shooting. The FBI has also filed charges against another individual for allegedly harassing the friends and family of victims of the Parkland shooting.