Bribery charges against Apple security chief dismissed

Thomas Moyer was alleged to have offered iPads in exchange for concealed-carry weapons permits for Apple employees.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Steven Musil
2 min read

The Santa Clara County District Attorney alleged that the security chief tried to bribe law enforcement with iPads.

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Bribery charges against Apple's global head of security were dismissed Tuesday due to a lack of evidence.

Thomas Moyer was indicted by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office in November after allegedly offering to donate hundreds of iPads to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office in exchange for concealed-carry weapons permits for Apple employees. Apple's Cupertino headquarters is in Santa Clara County.

But the grand jury hearing the case "could not have reasonably concluded that Moyer had a corrupt intent" because Moyer didn't act "wrongfully to gain an advantage," California Superior Court Judge Eric S. Geffon said in an order Tuesday.

"The fact that the iPads were being offered to the Sheriff's Office, not to any individual, is further evidence Moyer lacked a corrupt intent," Geffon wrote in his decision.

Ed Swanson, Moyer's attorney in the case, applauded the court's decision.

"As we have said from the outset, Tom is an honorable man who committed no crime," Swanson said. "We are relieved and thankful that the Court has found that Tom is blameless and has dismissed the entire case against him."

The District Attorney's Office defended its case against Moyer and was considering how to proceed.

"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," a DA spokesperson said in a statement. "We stand by the grand jury's decision and are evaluating our options."

In a statement provided through his attorney, Moyer thanked Apple for its support.

"I thank the court for giving this case such careful consideration, and for allowing me to move forward with my life," he said.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office alleged in November that Moyer agreed to donate 200 iPads worth $70,000 to the sheriff's office in exchange for four CCW permits that had been withheld from Apple employees.

The DA's office said last year that the iPads-for-permits deal was scuttled in August 2019, when officials at the sheriff's department who were involved in the scheme learned of the DA's investigation into the department's concealed-carry licenses. 

Representatives for the District Attorney's Office and Apple didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.