Apple's security chief charged over alleged iPads for gun licenses scheme

midian182

Posts: 6,298   +53
Staff member
What just happened? Apple's head of global security has been charged with bribery after allegedly offering to donate 200 iPads to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office in return for four concealed weapon permits for Apple employees.

The LA Times writes that Apple Chief Security Officer Thomas Moyer, Santa Clara County Undersheriff Rick Sung, Capt. James Jensen of the sheriff's department and insurance broker Harpreet Chadha were indicted by a grand jury last week following a two-year investigation into the alleged scheme.

The District Attorney's Office states that Moyer allegedly agreed to donate 200 iPads worth $70,000 to the Sheriff's Office in exchange for four conceal carry weapon (CCW) permits that had been withheld from Apple employees.

The deal was allegedly scuttled in 2019 when Moyer and others involved in the scheme learned the DA had issued a warrant with the Sheriff's Office to seize its CCW license records.

"Undersheriff Sung and Captain Jensen treated CCW licenses as commodities and found willing buyers," Santa Clara County Dist. Atty. Jeff Rosen said in a statement. "Bribe seekers should be reported to the District Attorney's Office, not rewarded with compliance."

Moyer's attorney, Ed Swanson, says his client is innocent, calling his charge "collateral damage" in a rivalry between the district attorney and Smith, the sheriff. He added that Apple regularly donates devices, and the iPads offered in this instance were not related to the licenses Moyer was seeking on behalf of other Apple workers.

The CCW permits were required so Apple security staff could protect executives and employees following shootings at other Silicon Valley firms, such as the one at YouTube's HQ in 2018 in which three workers were wounded before the shooter turned the gun on herself.

The Cupertino giant said it had conducted its own investigation into the matter and found no wrongdoing.

Image credit: Chayantorn Tongmorn

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Endymio

Posts: 1,340   +1,214
in exchange for four conceal carry weapon (CCW) permits that had been withheld from Apple employees....
Bribery? Sounds more like extortion to me. I imagine there was no lawful reason to deny those permits in the first place. You can't "bribe" an official to commit an act they are legally required to perform anyway.

Fry the sheriff involved -- but don't penalize his victims for knuckling under to him.
 

ColdSoup

Posts: 112   +239
It's almost like every single "may issue" scheme has resulted in corruption charges being brought against government officials for abuse of position. Oh wait... that's actually what has happened over the past two decades.

Remove all permitting or at least go "shall issue" with mandatory 7 day turnaround times. I don't even carry a gun but believe people should absolutely have the right to do so if they can do so safely and responsibly.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,274   +3,601
Bribery? Sounds more like extortion to me. I imagine there was no lawful reason to deny those permits in the first place. You can't "bribe" an official to commit an act they are legally required to perform anyway.

Fry the sheriff involved -- but don't penalize his victims for knuckling under to him.
I can think of several reasons for an Apple employee to not be able to own a gun. They could be former felons who have yet to regain their right to own firearms. They might not be American citizens. They might live in a vehemently anti-gun municipality (of which there are many in California) that won't give anyone except politicians and entertainment superstars a permit without a bribe.
 

Hexic

Posts: 834   +993
I don't condone bribery, but screw California. A Sheriff shouldn't have the authority to pick and choose who can get a permit. Everyone who meets whatever the stated requirements are should get one.
While I agree, unfortunately there are a handful of states who disregard the second amendment, and the determinant of who gets a carry permit (CCW, carry, or possess at all) differs from state to state.

I’m not sure the precise details of how the process works in PRC, but the concept of bribery for carry permits makes a lot of sense.. CA isn’t legally required to offer you a permit at all, and greasing the wheels with bribes sure can help.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,340   +1,214
I can think of several reasons for an Apple employee to not be able to own a gun. They could be former felons [or] not be American citizens. They might live in a vehemently anti-gun municipality (of which there are many in California) that won't give anyone except politicians and entertainment superstars a permit without a bribe.
These were four Apple security personnel who were due to receive a company-issued firearm, and had passed the background check and were legally entitled to carry. So common sense alone indicates the third of your reasons is the one which applies, even if we didn't have confirmation from this indictment.

CA isn’t legally required to offer you a permit at all
Untrue, under both California law and the US Constitution. By California law, a local official may deny a qualified individual only if they believe the individual doesn't have "good cause" to carry the weapon. A duly-certified security officer in the performance of his duties obviously qualifies under that provision, even if we disregard the overarching effect of the Second Amendment.
 

VitalyT

Posts: 5,276   +4,548
A 2-year investigation? Right, why not, take your time, spend millions of taxpayers' money while you're at it.
 
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lipe123

Posts: 958   +544
A 2-year investigation? Right, why not, take your time...
How else can the government justify their budget?! They most likely had to pay 100's of people to do mundane tasks and then had one person wrap up the whole thing in a few months towards the end.

What I don't get is, this article makes it sound like Apple is the only one doing wrong here but it seems like it was an issue with corrupt government officials.
 

Tantor

Posts: 83   +117
I can think of several reasons for an Apple employee to not be able to own a gun. They could be former felons who have yet to regain their right to own firearms. They might not be American citizens. They might live in a vehemently anti-gun municipality (of which there are many in California) that won't give anyone except politicians and entertainment superstars a permit without a bribe.
Just being an Apple exec is enough to deny a CCW.
 

Thanthan

Posts: 57   +103
Bribery? Sounds more like extortion to me. I imagine there was no lawful reason to deny those permits in the first place. You can't "bribe" an official to commit an act they are legally required to perform anyway.

Fry the sheriff involved -- but don't penalize his victims for knuckling under to him.
Actually you can. In this case they should have reported the matter to a higher police authority, rather than complying with illegal requests from the police. Extortion is illegal yes, but complying with it can be as well, especially in cases involving official entities.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,340   +1,214
Extortion is illegal yes, but complying with it can be as well, especially in cases involving official entities.
In most states, extortion is prosecutable only in one direction: against those applying the coercion. It seems this California DA agrees with me, as they used the bribery statute, rather than extortion. But I believe this was extortion, not bribery -- it involves an official threat of a negative consequence (withholding a duly-entitled permit) rather than the corrupt offer of a positive consequence (receiving a permit to which you were not entitled). Apple's acts thus fails under the standard actus reus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, or the "guilty mind" test.
 

Chemicalfacist

Posts: 19   +10
I don't condone bribery, but screw California. A Sheriff shouldn't have the authority to pick and choose who can get a permit. Everyone who meets whatever the stated requirements are should get one.
Why are we "screwing" all of California for one county? You realize Ca is a HUGE state right?
 

CBTex

Posts: 114   +214
Why are we "screwing" all of California for one county? You realize Ca is a HUGE state right?
The California gun permit law is a state law. It isn't limited to this one county. Having a law that allows an elected official to arbitrarily determine who can get a legal privilege is asking for abuse and just plain bad legislation. So, yes, screw California.

California is entitled to set the legal requirements to obtain a permit to carry a firearm at whatever level it desires. But, set those requirements and issue permits to anyone who meets them. Not just the politically, socially or economically privileged.