David H. Brooks, a former contractor who supplied the military with body armor, was found guilty today on 17 counts, including fraud and insider trading, after allegedly stealing millions of dollars from his company and bilking his shareholders.
Prosecutors say Brooks used corporate funds from his company, DHB Industries, to fund a conspicuously lavish lifestyle, complete with luxury cars, thoroughbred racehorses, plastic surgery for his wife, prostitutes for his employees, a $10 million bat mitzvah for his daughter and a $100,000 diamond, sapphire and ruby-encrusted belt buckle in the shape of the American flag.A jury on Long Island found Brooks guilty today after two weeks of fraught deliberations that included jurors breaking protocol to complain to the judge about each other and allegations that Brooks tampered with the jury. The feds have opened a grand jury investigation into the tampering allegations.
The eight-month-long trial was a similar circus, with Brooks twice caught trying to smuggle anti-anxiety medication into the jail where he’s being held. In one case, a supporter handed him a pen in court apparently stuffed with pills.
The jury also found his co-defendant and former COO, Sandra Hatfield, guilty of similar charges.
According to prosecutors, Brooks bilked his shareholders by lying about his inventory to inflate stock prices, and then selling his shares for a whopping $185 million.
Brooks’ lawyers defended his lavish spending, saying he spent company funds appropriately. The prostitutes for his employees? “If Mr. Brooks thought such services could motivate his employees and make them more productive,” his lawyers argued, then it was a perfectly legitimate expense.