Apple security chief charged with bribing police for gun licences

Company says it has found ‘no wrongdoing’ after indictment alleges iPads were leveraged to secure permits

Apple said it had “conducted a thorough internal investigation and found no wrongdoing”.

Apple said it had “conducted a thorough internal investigation and found no wrongdoing”.


Apple’s head of global security has been charged in California with allegedly offering bribes to two local police officers to issue concealed weapons licences to the tech group’s employees.

Thomas Moyer was indicted by a grand jury in state court in Santa Clara county, where Apple is based, along with officers Rick Sung, the county undersheriff, and James Jensen, a sheriff’s captain.

The indictment, issued on Friday and announced on Monday, accuses Mr Moyer of offering iPads to the officers last year in return for the gun licences.

The local district attorney’s office said in a statement that Mr Sung and Mr Jensen held up the issuance of concealed weapons licences in order to extract bribes.


The prosecutors’ statement alleged that Mr Moyer offered 200 iPads, worth $70,000 (€59,000), as a “donation” to the sheriff’s office for four licences for Apple employees. The plan was scrapped after the officers discovered their gun licence records were under investigation in August last year, it added.

Apple immediately defended Mr Moyer, while his lawyer claimed that he had become “collateral damage” in a feud between the Santa Clara district attorney and the local sheriff’s office.

Apple said it had “conducted a thorough internal investigation and found no wrongdoing”. Mr Moyer has been with the company for 14 years and has been overall head of security since 2018, responsible for “strategic management of Apple’s corporate and retail security, crisis management, executive protection, investigations and new product secrecy”, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Mr Moyer’s lawyer, Ed Swanson, said he had done “nothing wrong and has acted with the highest integrity throughout his career”.

He added that the case was the result of “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”.


Jeff Rosen, district attorney, has brought charges against a number of people over allegations that they used the issuance of gun licences to raise money to support the 2018 re-election of sheriff Laurie Smith.

The licences are required for anyone who wants to carry a gun in public without revealing it. They are issued in California by local sheriff’s offices, which retain considerable discretion over who should receive them.

Mr Swanson said that the iPad donation was “entirely unrelated” to the gun licences, and something Apple does often “to support sheriff’s offices”.

The offer had come through Mr Moyer’s office, he added, because the devices were earmarked for use in a new sheriff’s training centre, where Apple hoped to benefit from training some of its own staff.

Mr Sung has also been charged with allegedly extracting promises for $6,000 worth of luxury box seats to the San Jose Sharks hockey arena in exchange for issuing another gun licence to Harpreet Chadha, a local insurance broker. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2020