Ex-boss of body armour maker 'looted $185m to pay for hookers, parties'

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London, July 28 (ANI): The former boss of the world's biggest body armour making company has been accused of looting 185 million dollars from the firm to finance his lavish lifestyle.

David H Brooks, 55, has been accused of using his company, DHB Industries, as his own private bank account, spending money on racehorses, pornography videos for his son, a 10 million dollar bat mitzvah party for his daughter, and plastic surgery for his wife.

Brooks has also been accused of spending 100,000 dollars on a gem-encrusted US flag belt buckle, and to have also doled out money on prostitutes for his staff.

The court at Long Island, New York was told that he hired rock band Aerosmith and rapper 50 Cent to perform at his daughter's bat mitzvah, and that he allowed her to use the company jet to fly to a Halloween party in Wisconsin.

Brooks is said to have forged a letter claiming the DHB board had approved some 6 million dollars in disputed expenditures, which also included more than 350,000 dollars on pens, some made of gold, and 40,000 dollars on leather-bound bar mitzvah invitations.

He and Sandra Hatfield, the company's former chief operating officer, are said to have made 190 million dollars by allegedly lying about DHB's performance and stocks of its Interceptor bullet-proof vests so they could sell their shares at an inflated price.

The court was also told that the pair created companies to funnel money to a Swiss bank account and a bank in the tax haven of San Marino.

On top of that, prosecutors say Scotland Yard detectives uncovered evidence of a Brooks family member hiding 3.6 million dollars in a London safe deposit box, in the same type of duffel bags given to guests at the daughter's bat mitzvah.

"It's testament to the amount they stole. It's about the depths they sunk to. It's about greed and lies," the Telegraph quoted Christopher Ott, prosecuting, as telling the jury in a five-hour summing-up.

Much of the evidence against Brooks came from Dawn Schlegel, DHB's former chief financial officer.

"We do not back down from any share he earned and every dollar he made," Kenneth Ravenell, defending, said.

The defence said that the hiring of prostitutes for staff and board members was a legitimate business expense "if Brooks thought such services could motivate his employees and make them more productive".

Brooks resigned from DHB Industries, which he founded and which supplied body armour to the US military in Afghanistan and Iraq, in 2005. The company changed its name and has now filed for bankruptcy.

He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted as well as further trials over contempt of court and tax evasion charges.

The trial continues. (ANI)

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