In my column "Shitty Body Armor" from January 17, 2006 I reported a report that a "Pentagon study found that as many of 80% of marines killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper body could have survived if they had extra body armor."
Then I reported from another report that "The only body armor allowed in the Army/USMC is the Interceptor OTV which apparently is not that good." That is the body armor made by James Brooks, the millionaire-mitzfah guy. Not only that, soldiers who wanted to buy or already bought their own good body armor made by a different company, were forbidden to wear it because the only approved body armor was the shitty stuff and most of the soldiers who were killed in the wars on terror were wearing the bad stuff. Then it turned out that generals and higher ups were wearing the other company's body armor as "a test". Yeah right. They were wearing it because it was safer and they wanted their asses protected as well as their upper bodies.
Today in local business news I read that good old Mr Brooks' company DHB, does not only manufacture crap (in my home town, I'm sorry to say) for our troops but he is also an allegedly shady business man. Oh no, daddy, not you!
The 19 lawsuits, now consolidated and under review by U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Thomas Boyle, contend that David Brooks "has a history of serious securities law violations" and that DHB has had four different accounting firms since 2002, which the combined suit says is "something hardly designed to boost investor confidence." By portraying DHB as a "tremendous success" with increased military sales, the lawsuit alleges, Brooks and other company officials gained "over $200 million in illegal insider trading proceeds."
The suit contends Brooks repeatedly painted a rosy picture for his company -- even as he was selling his own stock. "The future outlook for DHB appears outstanding given the continuing unstable geopolitical environment, the increased need for homeland security, and the continuing war on terror," Brooks said at about the same time as his large stock sale, according to court papers.
The suit contends that DHB executives knew then that "thousands and thousands of DHB Interceptor vests were defective," and it alleges that the investors lost millions because DHB didn't properly disclose problems with Zylon, a key substance used in some of the bullet-resistant vests that deteriorated over time.