Former DHB chief financial officer Dawn Schlegel leaves federal court...

Former DHB chief financial officer Dawn Schlegel leaves federal court in Central Islip earlier this month. As a witness for the prosecution, she is under fire from the defense team of her former DHB boss David Brooks who is charged with looting the body armor company. (March 17, 2010) Credit: Ed Betz

The key government witness against former body-armor magnate David Brooks has conceded that she made some mistakes in her testimony for the government in implicating Brooks in a $190-million fraud.

Dawn Schlegel, at one time the chief financial officer of Brooks' DHB Industries, admitted she erred, for example, when she said in her final days of testimony that the company had paid for summer camp for three of Brooks' children instead of only two of them, as reflected in business records.

Schlegel made the admission on the final day of three weeks of cross-examination by Brooks' lead attorney, Kenneth Ravenell, in federal court in Central Islip.

Schlegel also acknowledged that a company document she told prosecutors had "magically . . . appeared" in her files in June 2004 was discovered by her earlier in the year. The document, which federal prosecutor Christopher Ott says is a forgery, supposedly permitted Brooks to have been reimbursed for his personal expenses.

Brooks is charged with illegally having the company, formerly based in Westbury, pay for millions in personal expenses and also for masterminding a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme involving company stock.

Ravenell brought out these inconsistencies and a number of others in Schlegel's earlier testimony for prosecutors in an attempt to undermine her overall credibility.

But in response to Ravenell's narrowly focused questions, Schlegel did not essentially deviate from her testimony for the government, during which she said that she mainly followed Brooks' orders in helping him orchestrate the frauds.

Schlegel's attorney, Francisco Navarro, of Manhattan, declined to comment on his client's testimony.

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