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Witness details ex-DHB chief's hurricane scam

David Brooks leaves federal court in Central Islip.

David Brooks leaves federal court in Central Islip. (Feb. 24, 2009) Photo Credit: James Carbone

One of David Brooks schemes did not make the millions of dollars he had expected, and instead he had to settle for $14,000, according to federal prosecutors.

A former executive of Brooks' testified Monday that Brooks tried to take advantage in 2005 of damage caused by Hurricane Wilma in Florida by claiming there was destruction of inventory at the warehouse of NDL Products, a subsidiary of Brooks' body-armor company, DHB Industries.

The executive, Joseph Giaquinto, the former president of NDL Products, testified in U.S. District Court in Central Islip Monday that after the hurricane Brooks had two truckloads of body-armor parts moved to the warehouse and he was ordered to make them look as if they had been damaged by water entering the building.

Giaquinto testified under questioning by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Lunger that no water had entered the NDL warehouse in Oakland Park and no inventory had been damaged.

Nevertheless, Brooks' company filed an insurance claim for $500,000 for damages to NDL products and $3.5 million for damages to body-armor parts, Giaquinto said.

While Brooks' DHB made body armor for the military, no parts had been stored in the NDL warehouse, Giaquinto testified. NDL only dealt in sports and medical products such as ankle braces.

The insurance company was suspicious about the situation anyway and refused to pay out the $4-million claim, and Brooks had to settle for $14,000, Giaquinto said. Brooks is on trial for fraud, charged with looting his former Westbury-based company of millions of dollars.

There was a similar situation in 1999, Giaquinto began to testify, before he was stopped by U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert.

  In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene that year, Giaquinto said, Brooks' brother, Jeffrey, who occasionally showed up at NDL, said they should go into an NDL warehouse and make it look lik e company products suffered water damage for insurance purposes.

But Seybert barred further testimony from Giaquinto on that situation because he had no direct knowledge that David Brooks had ordered his brother to engage in an apparent previous insurance scheme.

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