Apple’s security chief accused of bribery in California gun-permit probe

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Apple company is seen outside an Apple store in Bordeaux
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Apple company is seen outside an Apple store in Bordeaux, France, March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

November 24, 2020

By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) – Apple Inc’s security chief on Monday was indicted on bribery charges as prosecutors alleged he promised a donation of 200 iPads to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office to secure four concealed-weapon permits for Apple employees.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said a grand jury indicted Apple Chief Security Officer Thomas Moyer, 50, and two officers in the Sheriff’s Office.

The officers were charged with soliciting bribes for issuing concealed carry permits. Carrying concealed firearms in California is illegal without a permit, and county sheriffs have broad discretion over their issuance.

Moyer’s attorney said he was innocent of the charges. Apple said it had conducted its own investigation and found no wrongdoing.

The indictments came amid an ongoing corruption probe by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office into the Sheriff’s Office over allegations that contributions to Sheriff Laurie Smith’s 2018 re-election campaign were exchanged for concealed weapons permits. That case did not involve Apple.

Moyer’s attorney, Ed Swanson, said Moyer had applied for weapons permits for some Apple security personnel to protect executives and employees after shootings at other Silicon Valley tech firms, such as a 2018 incident at YouTube’s headquarters.

“They went through the process the way you’re supposed to do it,” he said of the permit applications, adding that the iPad donation was unconnected to the permits. “There was no bribe, no quid pro quo.”