Apple's global security head indicted for bribery charges

Allegedly attempted to obtain four concealed firearm licences in exchange for $70,000 worth of iPads.

A Californian grand jury has issued indictments against Apple's head of global security, Thomas Moyer, for allegedly bribing two Santa Clara County policemen to obtain four concealed firearms licences.

The charges arose following a two-year investigation by the District Attorney's Office, which found that the two policemen, Rick Sung and James Jensen, allegedly held up the issuance of these licences and refused to release them to Moyer until he provided something of value.

"Undersheriff Sung and Captain Jensen treated CCW licences as commodities and found willing buyers. Bribe seekers should be reported to the District Attorney's Office, not rewarded with compliance," district attorney Jeff Rosen said.

In the indictment [PDF], the District Attorney's Office accuses Moyer of entering into a deal with the policemen to "donate" 200 iPads to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office in exchange for the licences. 

The iPads had a total value of around $70,000, the District Attorney's Office said.

Under state law, applicants of the carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) licence must demonstrate "good cause" for the licence, in addition to completing a firearms course and having good moral character, but the sheriff ultimately has broad discretion in determining who should qualify, the District Attorney's Office explained.

Despite Moyer and the two policemen allegedly coming to an agreement, the bribery transaction was eventually cancelled when the accused parties realised the District Attorney's Office had submitted a search warrant to seize the sheriff department's concealed firearms licences records, Rosen alleged.

Moyer has denied the charges and labelled them as "baseless".

"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," Moyer's legal representatives said in a statement.  

"Tom Moyer is innocent of the charges filed against him. He did nothing wrong and has acted with the highest integrity throughout his career. We have no doubt he will be acquitted at trial. Tom is a hardworking, decent man with a long history of service to his community and his country."

Apple also released a statement backing Moyer, saying that it conducted an internal investigation into his conduct and found no wrongdoing.

"We expect all of our employees to conduct themselves with integrity," an Apple spokesperson said in the statement.  

Moyer has worked at Apple for 14 years and has been the company's head of global security since November 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile. 

The indictments follow four former eBay employees being charged for cyberstalking a married Massachusetts couple in September. The charged individuals, in that case, were formerly in eBay's security and intelligence teams.

Updated at 9:46am AEST, 25 November 2020: Added statements from Apple and Thomas Moyer's legal representatives about the charges.

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