Im­pris­oned founder of body ar­mor com­pany dies at 61

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS -

David H. Brooks, the founder of Amer­ica’s lead­ing sup­plier of body ar­mor to the U.S. mil­i­tary, died in prison while serv­ing a 17-year sen­tence for run­ning a mas­sive stock fraud scheme. He was 61. The U.S. Bureau of Pris­ons con­firmed Brooks died Thurs­day at the Fed­eral Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tu­tion in Dan­bury, Con­necti­cut. On Satur­day, BOP spokesman Justin Long said, for pri­vacy rea­sons, prison of­fi­cials can­not re­lease ad­di­tional de­tails.

Brooks’ lawyer told News­day that his client be­came ill Thurs­day and was taken to a hospi­tal. He said it was un­clear what led to his death. “It was sud­den and un­ex­pected,” said Richard Klugh, Brooks’ fed­eral ap­peals at­tor­ney in Mi­ami. Brooks, the founder and for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive of DHB In­dus­tries, was con­victed in 2010 of se­cu­ri­ties fraud, con­spir­acy and other charges for mas­ter­mind­ing a $185 mil­lion stock swin­dle and us­ing the pro­ceeds to pay for per­sonal lux­u­ries. Pros­e­cu­tors said he threw ex­trav­a­gant bar and bat mitz­vahs for his chil­dren in which en­ter­tain­ers such as Tom Petty, Aero­smith and the Ea­gles per­formed. They said he also bought a di­a­mond-en­crusted belt buckle in the shape of an Amer­i­can flag for more than $100,000.

Dur­ing his trial in fed­eral court in New York, pros­e­cu­tors said Brooks used the com­pany trea­sury for his own ex­trav­a­gances, with more than $6 mil­lion in unau­tho­rized ex­pen­di­tures. Brooks and a co-de­fen­dant were ac­cused of falsely in­flat­ing the value of the in­ven­tory of the com­pany’s top prod­uct — the In­ter­cep­tor vest — to help meet profit mar­gin pro­jec­tions.

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