Apple security chief offered iPads as a bribe for gun permits, prosecutors allege

The charges are part of a broader probe into the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office

Apple Inc.’s head of security has been indicted on bribery charges for a scheme in which prosecutors allege he offered iPads to secure gun permits for his company’s employees.

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Thomas Moyer allegedly promised to give 200 iPads to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office to get four concealed carry licenses, according to Jeffrey Rosen, district attorney of the Bay Area county where Apple is based. The charges are part of a broader probe into the sheriff’s office.

Two high-ranking sheriff’s office officials, Undersheriff Rick Sung and Captain James Jensen, were indicted on a charge of requesting the bribe. The two men held back on issuing the permits until Moyer “agreed to donate close to $70,000 worth of iPads,” said Rosen. “The donation was pulled back at the eleventh hour when our search warrants into this probe began.”

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Ed Swanson, an attorney for Moyer, who runs global security at Apple, said his client was innocent and that the indictment was the result of a continuing dispute between the district attorney and the sheriff.

“It is true that Apple was looking into donating iPads to support the sheriff’s new training facility. It is true that Apple applied for and received [concealed carry] permits,” said Swanson. “There is no connection between those two things.”

Chuck Smith, an attorney for Sung, said that his client “has not broken any law and has not committed any acts which would be illegal, unethical, or immoral.” An attorney for Jensen didn’t respond to requests for comment.

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“We expect all of our employees to conduct themselves with integrity. After learning of the allegations, we conducted a thorough internal investigation and found no wrongdoing,” an Apple spokeswoman said in an email.

The majority of states require that concealed carry permits be issued to those who apply unless they are barred from owning a gun. But in California, local authorities have more discretion. Rosen’s office is conducting a larger investigation of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, which patrols parts of Silicon Valley, for allegedly extracting bribes and political donations in exchange for the permits.

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“As law enforcement officers, we are held to the highest moral and ethical standards,” Sheriff Laurie Smith said in a statement. “This is a difficult time for our organization, however our goal remains to provide the highest level of public safety to the residents of Santa Clara County.”

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