Apple security boss faces iPads-for-gun-permits bribery charge... again

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An appeals tribunal has reversed a 2021 determination to driblet a bribery complaint against Apple's caput of world security, who is accused of donating iPads worthy up to $80,000 to a sheriff's agency successful speech for giving his Cupertino agents concealed transportation limb licenses.

The appeals judges said that moreover a "promise" to donate nan tablets successful speech for giving Apple's information guards concealed transportation weapons paperwork could perchance beryllium considered a bribe. The sheriff's agency was ne'er fixed nan tablets.

The complaint against information main Thomas Moyer was brought successful 2020 successful California, against nan backdrop of a wider alleged pay-to-play scheme involving weapon permits and nan sheriff's office.

Former Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith was accused of providing concealed transportation weapons permits successful speech for governmental donations aliases different favors successful that wider case. Smith was recovered blameworthy connected six civilian counts of corruption and willful misconduct successful November past twelvemonth by nan Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury.

According to prosecutors successful nan original indictment [PDF] revenge against Moyer, Undersheriff Rick Sung, and Captain James Jensen, Sung and Jensen are alleged to person refused to rumor 4 concealed-carry limb (CCW) licenses to Apple information unless they sewage thing successful return. The allegation was that Moyer promised to donate 200 iPads, worthy betwixt $40,000 and $80,000, to nan sheriff's agency "in exchange" for nan permits. Moyer has ever maintained location was nary relationship betwixt nan iPad aid connection and nan licenses. The aid was later scrapped.

Sung and Jensen person been charged pinch receiving aliases asking for bribes pinch proceedings dates group for this year.

The lawsuit against nan Apple information boss, however, was dismissed by a proceedings tribunal successful 2021.

But precocious past week, justices astatine California's sixth territory tribunal of entreaty reversed nan order [PDF] and reinstated nan bribery count.

Friday's opinion, written by Justice Daniel Bromberg, joined by Justices Adrienne Grover and Cynthia Lie, claimed that nan grounds presented to nan expansive assemblage was "sufficient to raise a reasonable suspicion of specified bribery."

Threats against Tim Cook

The judges noted that for Apple to activity CCW licenses was an ostensibly reasonable move, as, successful 2016 and early 2017, Moyer and his information squad began receiving "more superior threats" against Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, and became "concerned astir its expertise to respond to these threats." As a consequence, nan sentiment adds, successful early 2017, Apple "decided its executive protection squad should beryllium armed" and began taking steps to get concealed transportation limb (CCW) licenses for unit connected nan team, galore of whom were based successful Santa Clara County.

The justices said nan sheriff's agency was ne'er fixed nan tablets, aliases truthful nan expansive assemblage was told, because Moyer recommended "tabling nan donation" successful August 2019, erstwhile nan media reported that nan sheriff's agency had received a lawsuit concerning its issuing of CCW licenses.

The judges wrote: "There was nary mention successful nan article astir Apple aliases nan promised iPad donation, and successful February, erstwhile asked by nan compliance lawyer astir matters pending earlier nan sheriff's office, Moyer had not disclosed Apple's CCW applications."

The sentiment added that "the expansive assemblage could person recovered further grounds of consciousness of guilt successful nan velocity pinch which Moyer reacted upon learning that nan Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office was nether investigation for its curen of CCW licenses."

The judges' sentiment stated that prosecutors had presented grounds to nan expansive assemblage that "Moyer was little than candid astir nan iPad donation."

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The entreaty judges did statement that nan 2021 proceedings tribunal earlier recovered that grounds presented to nan expansive assemblage had not been capable to found that Moyer had a "corrupt intent successful promising nan iPad donation."

In reaching this conclusion, nan tribunal said astatine nan clip that, by nan clip of nan February 8, 2019 gathering successful which Moyer allegedly promised nan iPad donation, "Moyer already had been many times informed that Apple's CCW licenses would beryllium issued." The appeals tribunal besides noted that nan proceedings tribunal "observed that Moyer submitted nan petition to make nan iPad aid done due channels astatine Apple."

Moyer's counsel, proceedings and appellate lawyer Ed Swanson, told The Reg: "We powerfully judge nan Court of Appeal reached nan incorrect conclusion. Tom Moyer did not perpetrate a crime, and we will proceed fighting this lawsuit until he is exonerated." ®