Apple Security Head Charged With Offering Bribe for Gun Licenses

Apple office

A California district attorney accused Apple Inc. Chief Security Officer Thomas Moyer of offering a bribe to state officials for gun licenses, according to indictments issued on Monday.

Moyer was named along with Santa Clara County Undersherrif Rick Sung and Captain James Jensen in a case that involved offering bribes in return for concealed firearms licenses, according to a court document and a statement from the Santa Clara district attorney’s office. Ed Swanson, Moyer’s attorney, said his client is innocent.

The two-year investigation by the district attorney’s office revealed that Sung, aided by Jensen in one instance, held up the issuance of concealed firearms licenses until the applicants gave something of value. In California, concealed weapon permits, known as CCW licenses, are issued by county sheriffs based on a finding of “good cause” to approve a resident’s application.

“In the case of four CCW licenses withheld from Apple employees, Under sheriff Sung and Cpt. Jensen managed to extract from Thomas Moyer a promise that Apple would donate iPads to the Sheriff’s Office,” the district attorney said in the statement. “The promised donation of 200 iPads worth close to $70,000 was scuttled at the eleventh hour just after August 2, 2019, when Sung and Moyer learned of the search warrant that the District Attorney’s Office executed at the Sheriff’s Office seizing all its CCW license records.”

Moyer, 50, has been dragged into a feud between officials in the jurisdiction that covers Apple’s home base, according to his attorney Swanson.

“This case is about a long, bitter, and very public dispute between the Santa Clara County Sheriff and the District Attorney, and Tom is collateral damage to that dispute,” Swanson wrote in a statement. “We look forward to making Tom’s innocence clear in court and bringing an end to this wrong-headed prosecution.” Apple didn’t return calls and messages seeking comment.

After enlisting in the U.S. Navy at 19, Moyer served for four years as an Operational Intelligence Specialist, including during Operation Desert Storm, before being honorably discharged as a non-commissioned officer, according to background details shared by Swanson.

Moyer has been at Apple for about 15 years, and he has been the head of global security since November 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile. His department helps employees through crises such as fires and hurricanes, and oversees physical security, retail loss prevention, executive protection, security related investigations, and the secrecy of new products and prototypes.

He became more broadly known outside of Apple for an official memo sent to employees in 2018 in which he warned of the potential consequences of disclosing private company information to outsiders.

“The potential criminal consequences of leaking are real,” Moyer wrote, “and that can become part of your personal and professional identity forever.”

One of his predecessors, John Theriault, left Apple in 2011 after accusations that his staff impersonated police officers during an attempt to recover a lost iPhone prototype.

(Updates with background on Moyer from seventh paragraph.)
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