Apple Exec Indicted on Bribery Charge

A grand jury indicted one of Apple’s top compliance executives on Monday for offering 200 iPads to a local sheriff’s office in exchange for concealed weapons permits. 

Tom Moyer, currently Apple’s head of global security and chief compliance officer from 2009 to 2018, was indicted in Santa Clara County on one count of bribing an executive officer. He was one of four men indicted, including two officers in the Santa Clara sheriff’s department who apparently were shaking down business executives for various items — such as iPads — in exchange for the concealed weapons permits.

According to a statement from the Santa Clara County district attorney, Moyer had approached the sheriff’s department last year to obtain four concealed carry permits for Apple employees. (Presumably the employees were part of the Apple security team Moyer oversees.) 

Undersheriff Rick Sung and Capt. James Jensen, however, withheld the four weapons permits and “managed to extract from Moyer a promise that Apple would donate iPads to the sheriff’s office.” Moyer allegedly agreed to provide 200 iPads worth roughly $70,000. A concealed carry permit in Santa Clara County costs roughly $200 to $400, the DA’s office says. 

And how did it all end? Even better: 

The promised donation… 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 [concealed weapons] license records.

The fourth man indicted Monday was a local independent business owner, who allegedly coughed up $6,000 worth of luxury suite tickets for a San Jose Sharks hockey game on Valentine’s Day, 2019. Santa Clara sheriff Laurie Smith then used the suite to throw a party celebrating her re-election as sheriff. 

Santa Clara County district attorney Jeff Rosen released the following statement, more to denounce Sung and Jensen but putting Moyer in a bad light too: “Undersheriff Sung and Captain Jensen treated [concealed carry] licenses as commodities and found willing buyers. Bribe seekers should be reported to the district attorney’s office, not rewarded with compliance.”

Ooof. That’s quite the turn of phrase to use in an indictment against a corporate compliance professional. 

Moyer’s attorney, Ed Swanson, released a statement proclaiming Moyer’s innocence. Swanson claimed Moyer is only “collateral damage” in a long-time feud between DA Rosen and Sheriff Smith. 


“Tom Moyer is innocent of the charges against him,” Swanson’s statement said. “He did nothing wrong and has acted with the highest integrity throughout his career. We have no doubt he will be acquitted at trial… His entire professional career has been founded on the belief that a good leader models ethics and integrity, and he does not deserve to have his good name tarnished by these baseless charges.”

All four defendants will be arraigned on Jan. 11, 2021 in San Jose. These are felony charges, so if convicted, they could face prison. (Which sounds to me like strong incentive for collateral damage victims to cooperate against the bigger fish Rosen is clearly trying to land.)

If This Sounds Familiar…

That’s because Moyer is the second senior compliance executive at Apple to face law enforcement in two years. In February 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed insider trading charges against the company’s then-corporate secretary, Gene Daniel Levoff. This was newsworthy because among Levoff’s duties, he was the person at Apple in charge of drafting and enforcing insider trading policies. 

Levoff has proclaimed his innocence and been fighting his case in federal court ever since. Earlier this year his attorneys tried arguing that insider trading isn’t actually a crime and therefore the prosecution against him was unconstitutional. That argument went nowhere with a federal judge and Levoff’s case grinds on.

Obviously insider trading charges at the federal level are very different from a county DA charging someone with bribing a law enforcement officer for a weapons permit. Still, that’s quite the streak Apple is on.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.