Apple’s head of global security was charged with bribery last week for allegedly promising to donate iPads to the Santa Clara County, Calif., Sheriff’s Office in exchange for concealed-weapons permits, according to an indictment made public Monday.
The charges are part of a broad two-year investigation into the sheriff’s office, according to a news release on the Santa Clara County district attorney’s website. The investigation explored an alleged scheme to trade concealed weapons permits in exchange for goods, such as iPads and expensive sports tickets.
Thomas Moyer, who has run Apple’s security department since 2013, according to his LinkedIn page, had applied for concealed-weapons permits, according to the release. The sheriff’s office held up the application, the news release alleges, until Moyer agreed to get Apple to donate $70,000 worth of iPads.
Through his attorney Ed Swanson, Moyer denied the allegations and said there was no quid pro quo. Moyer helped arrange a donation of iPads to a new education center for the sheriff’s office, Swanson said, but that donation was not connected with four concealed-carry permits issued to Apple employees.
“He did nothing wrong and has acted with the highest integrity throughout his career. We have no doubt he will be acquitted at trial,” Swanson said in a statement.
“As law enforcement officers, we are held to the highest moral and ethical standards,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “This is a difficult time for our organization.”
Apple’s sprawling headquarters in Cupertino falls within Santa Clara County and is staffed with security. Concealed-weapon permits are rarely granted in the county.
Santa Clara Undersheriff Rick Sung and Capt. James Jensen, who allegedly requested the bribes, were also indicted.
Jeff Rosen, the Santa Clara district attorney, said Sung and Jensen treated concealed-carry permits “like commodities”; he also faulted those who allegedly paid the bribes. “Bribe seekers should be reported to the District Attorney’s Office, not rewarded with compliance,” he said in a statement.
Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In recent years, as technology companies have drawn more interest and scrutiny from the public, some companies have dealt with physical security threats. In 2018, a woman shot three people at YouTube’s headquarters in nearby San Bruno, Calif., before shooting herself.
Security at Apple goes beyond physical threats. The company tries to protect its trade secrets and its supply chain from competitors and other outsiders who try to uncover company secrets.
Moyer’s role at the company included helping employees through natural disasters, Swanson said. Swanson said part of his client’s role was in looking for opportunities to help the law enforcement community, which includes donations of equipment, such as iPads. The “wrongheaded prosecution,” he said, was the result of “collateral damage” in a battle between the district attorney’s office and the sheriff’s office, which led to the charges, he said.
Moyer served as Apple’s chief compliance officer from 2009 to 2013, according to his LinkedIn page. One responsibility of a compliance officer is to ensure that companies follow anti-bribery laws.
The indictment comes about a year after an Apple attorney in charge of enforcing the company’s insider trading policies was indicted on insider trading charges.