Exclusive! First-hand report on David Brooks trial!
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2) $2,000,000 to pay horse trainers;
3) $1,800,000 to pay “horse groomers”; and
4) $1,000,000 in vet bills.
The prosecutor told the jury that TAP was used as “the main tool” for Mr. Brooks “to pay for his horses.”
Brooks’s Attorney Makes His Opening
Eventually, Brooks went to New York University while working evenings and, over time, became a very successful and wealthy man. Even the government admits, according to Mr. Ravenell, that “Mr. Brooks was a wealthy man" before he acquired DHB.
Ravenell showed the jury a document that seems to be the main basis for part of the defense: a 1997 corporate resolution that states that Brooks could spend company money for business or personal expenses. Thus, according to the defense, Brooks had permission to spend DHB’s money lavishly for his own purposes. Whether this document is viewed to be real or fake will be a big issue in this case.
According to Ravenell in his opening remarks, the abovementioned TAP started business in 1999, and it not only sewed vests for DHB but it also made “horse saddle pads and horse accessories.” Furthermore, according to the defense, owner Terry Brooks could do whatever she wanted with all the profits of TAP which, unlike DHB, was a privately-held company.
First Witness And the $101,190 Belt Buckle
The first witness called to the stand was an employee of an upscale New York City store who was there to authenticate various purchases that Brooks allegedly made with a DHB corporate American Express card. Indeed, the $101,190 “Belt Buckle Studded with Diamonds, Rubies and Sapphires” (according to the indictment) shaped in the form of the American flag, was purchased by Brooks on Aug. 6, 2002, in Manhattan. It appeared to be the same belt buckle Brooks was wearing when he posed in the winner’s circle after his horse Timesareachanging won the 2004 Little Brown Jug.
The government, for emphasis, put up two photos on a huge screen and other monitors--a close-up of the buckle itself and a picture of Brooks wearing the belt buckle. For further emphasis, prosecutor Christopher Caffarone asked Judge Joanna Seybert permission to give the belt buckle to the jurors to look at and hold. Such permission was granted and the jury saw first-hand the expensive belt buckle and other pieces of jewelry allegedly bought by Brooks.
Brooks Still In Jail
After the jury was dismissed for the day, Ravenell again asked the court to set conditions so that Brooks could be released from jail during his trial. As of Monday evening, Judge Seybert denied that request because, according to the judge, Brooks “has already violated his bail release order” and “has conspired to hide assets in San Marino” in Europe. Ravenell will be allowed to argue this request further in the coming days but, as of Monday evening, Jan. 25, Brooks could not go home.
Horsemen Expected To Testify
According to defense counsel Ravenell, this case will “take a few months,” as he told the jury during his opening. A prosecutor told The Horseman that the trial is anticipated “to take 20 weeks, maybe a little shorter.”