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

A federal judge Thursday ordered defense attorneys for former body-armor magnate David Brooks to turn over to her the computer history of an e-mail that a key government witness and federal prosecutors have suggested was forged to discredit the witness.

U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert said she wants to see the so-called metadata history of the document, which should contain when the e-mail was created and when any subsequent alterations and versions were created.

The defense contends the document shows that Dawn Schlegel, former chief financial officer of Brooks' then- Westbury-based company, DHB Industries, lied when she testified that she had had only a one-night stand with a former colleague.

Brooks' attorneys are trying to use the e-mail to help discredit the general credibility of Schlegel's six days of testimony last month for the government that supported its charges that Brooks fraudulently had the company pay millions of dollars in personal expenses to support his lifestyle.

But Schlegel has testified that while much of the wording in the e-mail is hers, the document was altered to include a false reference to a second sexual encounter with the colleague.

Federal prosecutor Christopher Ott has said that the e-mails in the computer systems of DHB that were turned over to both the prosecution and defense did not contain Schlegel's e-mail. Ott also has said that the e-mail has an incorrect e-mail address for the male colleague and has a different format and typeface than that used by DHB.

And Schlegel has testified that the last time she saw her personal DHB computer was when she gave it to David Brooks at his home office in Old Westbury. At the time, Schlegel said that she also gave her password to Brooks' brother, Jeffrey, after he asked for it.

Judge Seybert initially Thursday ordered that the metadata of the e-mail be turned over to the government because she did not have the ability to analyze it.

But she agreed to have the document history turned over at first only to her after Brooks' defense attorney, Kenneth Ravenell, argued that the government had no right to the metadata information, and that it would take only a few minutes for the defense to explain the history of the e-mail in private to Seybert.

This is not the first time the issue of possible forgery has surfaced in the case being heard in Central Islip. Federal prosecutors had argued that company documents supposedly showing that Brooks was entitled to have his company pay for all his personal expenses were forged.

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