David H. Brooks, a former military contractor who was found guilty of insider trading and fraudulently enriching himself through company funds, died on Thursday in prison in Danbury, Conn. He was 61.
A spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed the death. A lawyer for Mr. Brooks’s children, Judd Burstein, said the cause was being investigated.
Mr. Brooks was the founder and former chief executive of DHB Industries, one of the largest makers of bullet-resistant vests and other body armor used by the military and law enforcement. The company originally had its headquarters in Westbury, N.Y. It now operates as Point Blank Enterprises and is based in Pompano Beach, Fla.
Mr. Brooks was serving a 17-year sentence after being convicted in 2010 for his role in what prosecutors described as a $200 million fraud.
During an eight-month trial, spectators were riveted by testimony detailing Mr. Brooks’s lavish lifestyle, which had captured the attention of the tabloids when he threw what was rumored to be a $10 million bat mitzvah party for his daughter featuring the rapper 50 Cent and the rock group Aerosmith.
His company was said to have paid him more than $6 million in personal expenses, some of it used to pay for prostitutes for his employees, plastic surgery for his wife, a burial plot for his mother and a $100,000 jewel-encrusted belt buckle.
Prosecutors also accused him of funneling money from the company to support a thoroughbred horse-racing business.
Mr. Brooks was accused of misleading investors about the company’s finances. He made $185 million by selling his shares when they were at a record high, prosecutors said.
The case attracted a great deal of publicity, leading Mr. Brooks’s lawyers press, unsuccessfully, for a mistrial. “The accumulation of titillating and scandalous evidence has become a centerpiece of the trial and has incurably prejudiced the jury,” they argued.
Mr. Brooks was found guilty by a federal jury on 17 counts, including insider trading and securities fraud. He was sentenced in 2013 and was appealing his sentence at the time of his death, Mr. Burstein said.
Mr. Brooks resigned from the company in 2006. Born in Brooklyn, he graduated from New York University with a business degree.
He is survived by his brother, Jeffrey, and his three children, Andrew, Elizabeth and Victoria. His marriage ended in divorce.
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