Lawyers for former DHB chief David Brooks, who is charged...

Lawyers for former DHB chief David Brooks, who is charged with looting his body-armor company, are fighting to prevent testimony from a Florida veterinarian who has told prosecutors that Brooks was looking for a drug to wipe out the memory of the government's chief witness. Credit: Newsday, 2009 / James Carbone

David Brooks' attorneys are fighting to keep off the stand two government witnesses, including a former federal prosecutor, who the government says would provide potentially devastating testimony against the former body-armor magnate.

Government prosecutors have said the first witness, a veterinarian, would testify that Brooks asked him for a pill that would wipe out the memory of Dawn Schlegel, the key government witness in the case, and that Brooks made other admissions that contradict his defense.

Brooks' attorneys, however, argued Monday their client's previous attorney, George Canellos, now the head of the New York office of the Securities and Exchange Commission, would be able to say the vet, Dr. Seth Fishman, had a legal agreement with Brooks, former chief of DHB Industries, that bars him from testifying.

Brooks' lead attorney, Kenneth Ravenell, complained in federal court in Central Islip that Canellos is not returning his phone calls. Brooks' legal team has previously invoked Canellos' name numerous times as the attorney, then in private practice, who counseled Brooks on how to respond to the government's requests for information.

Canellos did not return phone calls Monday from Newsday.

Schlegel, who was chief financial officer of the formerly Westbury-based DHB body armor company, has testified against Brooks, who is charged with looting the company and its stockholders of $190 million through a fraudulent stock scheme and spending millions of company dollars on personal expenses.

Ravenell has said that while Canellos was representing Brooks, Fishman had a legal understanding with Brooks, known as a Kovel agreement, which made him an agent of Brooks' attorneys. That agreement bars Fishman from testifying against Brooks, Ravenell said.

Signatures on an employment agreement for David Brooks. The government...

Signatures on an employment agreement for David Brooks. The government maintains the signature above his is a forgery. Credit: Handout

The second witness Brooks' attorneys are trying to bar is DHB's former president, Douglas Burns, who the defense has said signed a contract in 1996 with Brooks allowing him to charge personal expenses to the company.

Federal prosecutor Christopher Ott said Monday that Burns, a former federal prosecutor and now a prominent defense attorney on Long Island and in Manhattan, will testify his signature was forged.

Ravenell argued Burns should be barred from testifying because he was one of Brooks' attorneys and could not give evidence against a client.

Stuart Samuels, president of the Premier Gem Corp. in Manhattan, testified Monday that Brooks' fondness for fancy belt buckles included a $51,000 one in addition to the $101,000 buckle prosecutors have alluded to. He added Brooks bought four diamond-gold money clips for $36,000 and a $635,00 diamond.

Prosecutors have said most of Brooks' jewelry purchases were illegally bought with company money.

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