Head of body armor company gets 17 years for massive fraud

Aug. 16, 2013 at 1:08 AM
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NEW YORK, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- The former chief executive of a company that makes body armor for the U.S. military was sentenced to 17 years in prison for orchestrating a $200 million fraud.

David H. Brooks, 58, of Old Westbury, N.Y., appeared before a federal judge in New York's Brooklyn borough Thursday, Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said. A judge also imposed an $8.7 million fine and forfeiture of $65 million in ill-gotten gains.

During an eight-month trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Brooks funneled money from DHB Industries to a horse-racing business. Investigators said he had a lavish lifestyle that included spending $40,000 on leather-bound invitations for his son's bar mitzvah and $101,000 on a jewel-encrusted belt buckle.

"DHB Industries made body armor that protected the men and women of the U.S. military, who risk their lives to keep us safe. To David Brooks, it was merely a vehicle for plunder and a means to feed his own greed. Brooks fancied himself a master of the sport of kings," Lynch said. "In reality, he was a selfish man who looted his company, defrauded his investors, lied to the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] and the investing public, and sought to profit through insider trading right before the collapse of his house of cards."

Investigators said Brooks' dishonest behavior continued into his trial, where he allegedly faked an email his lawyer used during the cross-examination of a witness.

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