Apple security chief seeks dismissal of firearm permit bribery case

Apple Park photo of the side of the main building
Apple Park photo of the side of the main building (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple's Chief Security Officer is seeking to have charges of bribery against him dismissed.
  • Thomas Moyer was indicted over claims Apple sent $70,000 worth of iPads to Santa Clara law officers in exchange for gun permits.
  • Moyer's attorney says there is no evidence of this.

Apple's Chief Security Officer has filed a motion to have an indictment against him over charges of bribery dismissed.

As reported by The Mercury News:

A top Apple security executive charged in a Santa Clara County corruption probe is seeking his case's dismissal on the grounds that prosecutors have no clear evidence his proposed donation of iPads to the sheriff's office was a bribe to hasten concealed-gun permits for his employees.In a motion filed Thursday in the county Superior Court, attorneys for Thomas Moyer argue that the district attorney's office not only failed to prove Moyer was trying to bribe anyone, but gave grand jurors bad instructions for determining who had to benefit from the donation for it to qualify as a bribe.

In a statement, Moyer's attorney said that the Santa Clara District Attorney "has ignored facts and evidence proving Mr. Moyer's innocence, and they have distorted the law to be able to drag him into this case." In November, Moyer was indicted alongside county Undersheriff Rick Sung and Capt. James Jensen, it is alleged that $70,000 worth of iPads was offered in exchange for the release of concealed-carry weapon permits, to be used by four Apple executive protection agents. From the report:

In the Moyer indictment, prosecutors and grand-jury testimony stated that in 2018, Apple security managers arranged for four of the tech titan's executive protection agents to apply for the gun permits, in part to bolster their protection of Apple CEO Tim Cook. The applications were submitted to the sheriff's office seemingly with the agency's blessing.According to the testimony, the processing of those permits stalled, followed by Moyer and one of his top lieutenants donating $1,000 apiece to Smith's re-election campaign. Both men testified that the donations were a goodwill gesture given that the sheriff's office operates as police for Apple's home city of Cupertino.

The report says that "the idea of a large iPad donation to the sheriff's office materialized" following a visit by Sung and Jensen to Apple Park in February of 2019, Moyer reportedly sent an email to Jensen that said, "Curious if you need iPads at your new facility". Three weeks later, Apple's security agents were advised to pick up their security permits, however "Records show they had been approved two months earlier." Moyer's attorneys say the fact that permits were processed two months prior "defies any logical bribery motive for the iPad donation offer." It is further claimed in the motion that there was "zero urgency to obtaining the CCWs for security personnel in light of other security developments at Apple Park" and that nothing explained by Mr. Moyer would abandon "decades of principled business conduct, to 'bribe' two Sheriff's deputies." The report further notes that the district attorney's office's allegations "do reconcile some of the inconsistencies asserted by Moyer's counsel, in that Sung is accused of holding up approved permits to extract expensive favors from well-heeled recipients."

The report says the iPads were never donated following search warrants being issued on Jensen and Sung in fall 2019 on a "separate but related bribery investigation." The report can be read in full here.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9