Judge Dismisses Bribery Charges against Apple’s Head of Security

Bribery charges against Thomas Moyer, Apple’s global head of security, were dismissed this week by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Eric Geffon for lack of evidence. Geffon wrote that a key element of the case was “pure speculation” by prosecutors and unsupported by evidence.

Moyer had been accused in November of offering the Santa Clara County sheriff’s office a donation of iPads in exchange for concealed-weapons permits.

In his June 1 order, Geffon wrote that the grand jury “could not have reasonably concluded that Moyer had a corrupt intent” because Moyer did not act “wrongfully to gain an advantage.”

Moyer had been taking a leave of absence from his job at Apple, and a company spokesperson told the Washington Post the executive plans to resume work in the same role at the company following his exoneration.

Prosecutors said Moyer had offered to donate iPads to the Sheriff's Office after a 2019 meeting in exchange for help getting concealed-weapons permits for the company's executive protection team.

Geffon wrote that Moyer had been in talks with the Sheriff's Office about permits for more than a year by the time of the 2019 meeting. By then, Geffon wrote, the evidence suggests Moyer believed the permits were already approved and would be issued soon.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but said in November that it had already conducted an internal investigation and found no wrongdoing

“We believe that the criminal grand jury—the 19 citizens who heard direct evidence and from witnesses in this public corruption case—correctly indicted Mr. Moyer for bribery. We stand by the grand jury’s decision and are evaluating our options,” Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in an emailed statement after the judge’s ruling was announced this week.

Mary McNamara, who led Moyer’s defense with Swanson, said in an interview with the Washington Post that the decision to throw the case out was very rare.

She said it’s common for defense attorneys to file motions to dismiss criminal charges brought by prosecutors, but judges don’t often grant them, instead allowing a jury to decide the defendant’s fate. It’s “rarer still to have them memorialized in an opinion and even more rare to have an analysis that is 17 pages,” she said, referring to the judge’s June 1 order.

On Feb. 8, 2019, Moyer met with officials from the sheriff’s office to discuss “sensitive” issues, according to court records. During the meeting, Moyer sent himself an email with the subject line “iPad Donation” and no text. Soon after the meeting, Moyer arranged for iPads to be donated to the sheriff’s office, according to court documents. The next month, Apple received concealed-weapons permits for its security staff.

“There is simply no evidence that suddenly, on February 8, 2019, Moyer was told or believed that the [concealed-weapons] permits would not be issued or released to the executive protection team unless the Sheriff’s Office received something in exchange (such as a donation of iPads),” Geffron wrote in this week’s decision.

According to his bio on the UC Hastings Law School’s Center for Business Law website, Moyer is the chief compliance and security officer at Apple Inc. In that role, Moyer has overall responsibility for Apple’s ethics and compliance program including Apple’s Business Conduct Policy, governing the ethical and legal obligations of Apple’s Board, executives and its employees worldwide.

Last week, in a stunning decision, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s entire office was disqualified from prosecuting a key defendant in the alleged conspiracy to obtain coveted concealed firearms permits.

Joe Wall, the attorney for key defendant Christopher Schumb, raised flags that his client’s alleged relationship with Rosen as a “political consultant, lawyer, fundraiser, and friend" created “a fatal conflict that cannot be ignored.”

Schumb, a prominent local attorney and political fundraiser, faces two felony charges in the upcoming trial: conspiring to bribe an executive officer and bribing an executive officer.

Other alleged co-conspirators include private attorney Harpaul Nahal, local gun parts manufacturer Michael Nichols and Sheriff’s Department Capt. James Jensen. The DA’s Office will still prosecute Jensen’s case, after his counsel's petitions for disqualification were denied by the Court of Appeals on May 28.




One Comment

  1. You have a typo in the very first sentence. You missed the Clara in Santa County. This told me the story has not been proofread or factchecked by someone else other than the person who wrote it, so I did not bother to read past the first sentence.

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