When last we left David H. Brooks' criminal fraud trial, underway now since darkest winter at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York, prosecutors were just beginning to make their case against the former body-armor manufacturer and titan owner of a valuable band of Standardbred race horses. The feds have long claimed that Brooks, and a co-defendant, defrauded their company, DHB Industries, out of approximately $190 million. Early last week, after nine weeks of startling revelations, outrageous expenses, and after a series of bizarre episodes involving Brooks himself, the defense finally has started its own case.
The first thing to say as the trial turns for home is that if it were more widely covered in the New York media market -- only Long Island's Newsday has so far given it its due -- it would be one of the most widely-followed trials of the decade. I predicted this months ago and was right -- but even in my wildest imagination I never dreamed this trial would be so uproariously and persistently unseemly. Although it doesn't possess the string of A-List victims like the Bernard Madoff scandal did, and despite the lack of video showing off the glamour like we saw in the Tyco case, the Brooks's trial simply has been a screen-writer's dream and a Hollywood natural. Brenden Fraser plays Brooks. Cue the hookers. And the jewel-encrusted belt. And the race horses. And the sex plane. End of story.