The former CEO of the leading supplier of body armor to U.S. soldiers in Iraq was charged yesterday with looting the company to bankroll a lavish lifestyle that included a $10 million bat mitzvah for his daughter.
In addition to the bat mitzvah - which included performances by Aerosmith, 50 Cent, Tom Petty, Kenny G and the Eagles - prosecutors said David Brooks got the firm, DHB Industries, to pay for other goodies.
Among them were a face lift for his ex-wife; vitamins for his stable of 100 horses; pricey vacations; fancy jewels; an armored car; a $194,000 Bentley; and a $100,000 diamond-studded belt buckle.
The elaborate scheme exploded yesterday when federal prosecutors unsealed a 21-count indictment accusing Brooks, 53, of securities fraud, insider trading, tax evasion and obstruction of justice. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Sandra Hatfield, 54, the company's former chief operating officer, was hit with similar charges.
Brooks founded DHB, which moved from Westbury, L.I., to Pompano Beach, Fla., last year, and served as its chairman and chief executive officer. He resigned last year as the scandal erupted.
According to the indictment, Brooks lined his pockets by having DHB underwrite his lifestyle and by artificially inflating the value of company stock.
He allegedly reaped $185 million by selling DHB stock when he learned that 6,000 bullet-proof vests the company made were about to be recalled for being faulty and not able to block bullets.
Hatfield, who left the firm in 2005, allegedly made $5 million in the scheme.
Brooks also was accused of evading taxes by giving money to charities he ran.
Brooks made headlines in November 2005, when he rented two floors of the Rainbow Room for the bat mitzvah of his daughter, Elizabeth.
He reportedly sent the company jet to fly Aerosmith in from Pittsburgh, paying them a cool $1 million. In return, they let his nephew play drums.
In honor of the band's appearance, Brooks changed from a black leather suit into a magenta suede biker outfit covered with chains.
The indictment said the body-armor tycoon spent $122,000 of company cash on iPods and digital cameras for his guests. It also revealed he shelled out $20,000 for leather-bound invitations to his son's bar mitzvah in 2000.
Brooks pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in federal court in Central Islip, L.I., and was held without bail pending a hearing Monday.
His lawyer, Paul Shechtman, said Brooks "grew up in Brooklyn and that means he doesn't run away from a fight. (I hope he rots in jail)
Shechtman asked for bail of a mere $50 million. Prosecutor John Martin asked that no bail be granted, calling Brooks a serious flight risk. NYPost
It must be nice. Having all your "bills" plus an extravaganza for your daughter & son, via the U.S. government. You can have it, too. All you have to do is be a corrupt businessman with great connections to the U.S. government. Houses, cars, jewels, horses, bat & bar mitzvahs..all expenses paid. Cheap, conservatives *&^#$)&s are only cheap when it comes to US.
Same Players. Different Scandal.