A federal judge Wednesday ordered former body-armor magnate David Brooks jailed without bail throughout the course of his trial, finding he and his brother engaged in three schemes to hide assets from the government and the court.
U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert revoked Brooks' bail last week, pending Wednesday's ruling, after an FBI agent filed an affidavit saying Brooks and his brother Jeffrey had secretly hidden millions of dollars in banks in San Marino, a landlocked republic inside Italy, and in Switzerland and a London safe depository. Conditions of the bail required Brooks and his brother to disclose all their assets and return them to the United States.
Seybert, ruling in federal district court in Central Islip, said she would not immediately order the seizure of the $26.5 million Brooks had put up in actual funds to support a $400-million bail bond. She said she might consider releasing some of it to allow Brooks to pay his legal fees and might release more if the brothers provide an accounting of all their assets.
However, she declined prosecutors' request to have her order the forfeiture of the bond, which would have required the brothers, Brooks' children, and his former wife, Terry, to pay the government the $400 million they had guaranteed. The judge said terms of the bond required forfeiture only if Brooks fled. Prosecutors had argued that concealment of the millions found overseas was part of a plot to flee.
Brooks' lead attorney, Kenneth Ravenell, said he disagreed with Seybert's decision and was considering options to have it reviewed. Federal prosecutor Christopher Ott declined to comment. Brooks is on trial for looting his former Westbury business, DHB Industries Inc.