The Ontario Racing Commission announced late Thursday that it is suspending the license to race trotting horses in that province of four of Brooks' relatives - Brooks' brother, Jeffrey Brooks; two of his children, Andrew and Victoria Brooks, and his former wife, Terry Brooks.
The order also mandates the freezing of all financial assets, including winning purses, held at racetracks in Ontario in the names of the four, and also the suspension of the licenses of four stables.
The stables involved in the order are Perfect World Enterprises, Bulletproof Enterprises, Goldfinger Enterprises, Seize the Day Industries and VAE Llc, according to a racing commission news release.
Ontario is the center of harness racing in Canada.
David Brooks, who is on trial in federal court in Central Islip on charges of looting his former Westbury-based body armor company, was a prominent figure in the trotting, or harness racing, industry in the United States and Canada. His stable of more than a hundred horses has won purses worth millions of dollars in recent years.
The ownership of the horses and the licenses, however, were transferred to the relatives after Brooks was arrested on the U.S. charges in 2007, according to sources familiar with the case.
The order suspending the licenses and freezing the Canadian assets was taken in order to conduct an investigation "to ensure public confidence in the honesty and integrity of the [racing] industry,'' according to the announcement.
Canadian investigators are looking into whether David Brooks actually maintains control of the Canadian racing operation, and whether the transfer to his relatives may have been a sham, according to sources familiar with the investigation.
As one condition of his bail on the United States charges, Brooks was supposed to outline all his assets and return them from overseas to be monitored in U.S. accounts.
U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert recently revoked Brooks' bail and ordered him jailed, after the FBI claimed it had evidence that Brooks, working with his brother Jeffrey, concealed millions of dollars in various schemes overseas.
Ravenell, who is David Brooks' attorney in the federal case in Central Islip, declined to comment on the Ontario action. Attorneys for Jeffrey, Victoria, Andrew and Terry Brooks could not be reached for comment.