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Sarasota-Manatee
Business Observer Sunday, Sep. 20, 2015 3 years ago

Exec bilked $850K from sports medicine practice

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David Brooks faces up to 20 years in prison after guilty plea.

BRADENTON — David Brooks admitted to fraud and theft related charges in a case that stems for his job monitoring finances at Coastal Orthopedics and Sports Medicine of Southwest Florida.

A former financial accounting manager at the Bradenton-based practice, Brooks plead guilty to mail fraud, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. Brooks, 44, faces up to 20 years in prison.

Coastal Orthopedics, according to the statement, hired Brooks in October 2011. In June 2013, Coastal Orthopedics officials discovered Brooks was convicted of theft, money laundering and other fraud-related offenses in Ohio. The medical practice, say prosecutors, fired Brooks and commenced a review of its books and records.

Between January 2012 and June 19, 2013, Coastal found that Brooks used company accounts to purchase $702,091.60 in American Express gift cards. He used the cards for personal expenses, including legal fees associated with his Ohio criminal case, authorities contend. Together with funds he diverted to pay himself over and above his salary, Brooks defrauded the company out of approximately $858,883, officials say.

In one instance, according to the statement, Brooks used 10 different gift cards, paid for with Coastal's funds, to purchase a 2012 Jeep Liberty. The gift cards were shipped to Brooks at Coastal on March 15, 2012 and four days later he used them to purchase the vehicle, prosecutors say.

Brooks, prosecutors allege, altered the company's books and records to cover up his actions.

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