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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Body-armor boss guilty

After an eight-month trial and two weeks of deliberations, a jury found a Long Island body armor mogul guilty yesterday of looting millions from his company and shareholders to fund an extravagant lifestyle.

David Brooks was convicted on 17 counts, including conspiracy to commit securities, wire and mail fraud, obstruction of justice and insider trading. He faces up to life in prison. His former chief operating officer, Sandra Hatfield, was convicted of related charges.

Prosecutors had said Brooks, who ran DHB Industries, used $6 million in company money to fund his lavish lifestyle, which included a 2005 multimillion-dollar Rainbow Room bash where 50 Cent, Tom Petty and Aerosmith performed at his daughter's bat mitzvah.

He wore a $100,000 diamond-encrusted belt buckle fashioned as an American flag. Brooks also spent his millions on horse-racing interests, prostitutes, shopping sprees, trips to the South of France and luxury cars.

Brooks and Hatfield also illegally pumped DHB's stock price by misrepresenting its financial health, prosecutors said.

Authorities allege the plot pushed the stock from a paltry $2 a share in early 2003 to almost $20 a share in late 2004.

The duo cleared $190 million -- with $185 million going to Brooks -- after dumping their inflated shares. The stock plummeted after their exit, and shareholders were wiped out

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