Citing a lack of evidence, a California Superior Court judge dropped a bribery charge against Apple’s chief security officer.
A grand jury had charged Thomas Moyer with one count of bribery in a case that involved questionable practices by two members of the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office. The duo allegedly withheld four concealed carry weapons (CCW) permits meant for Apple security personnel in exchange for 200 iPads worth $70,000.
California Superior Court Judge Eric Geffon dismissed the bribery charge against Moyer on Tuesday, saying that Moyer lacked “corrupt intent” when he offered to donate the iPads to the sheriff’s office.
According to the judge’s decision, Moyer met with Undersheriff Rick Sung and Captain James Jensen in February 2019 to discuss “sensitive issues.” During the meeting, Moyer sent a blank email to himself with the subject line, “iPad donation.” Soon after the encounter, Moyer arranged for the donation of the iPads to the sheriff’s office. In April 2019, the four Apple security personnel seeking CCW permits met with Jensen and received the permits.
Prosecutors said the February 2019 meeting between Moyer, Sung, and Jensen was held to discuss a bribe. But Judge Geffon noted the sheriff’s office approved the issuance of the CCW permits long before the meeting. The judge called the prosecution’s theory “pure speculation” and said it is “not supported by the evidence presented to the grand jury.”
“Based on this evidence, the grand jury could not have reasonably concluded that Moyer had corrupt intent with respect to the donation of iPads to affect the issuance of CCW permits because he did not act to wrongfully gain an advantage,” Judge Geffon wrote.
The case against Moyer was part of a broader, two-year public corruption investigation of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
Cases alleging public corruption by Sung and Jensen are currently pending, as is another bribery case against a local businessman, according to the Santa Clara County Superior Court.
“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,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “We stand by the grand jury’s decision and are evaluating our options.”
Moyer said the dismissal would allow him to move on with his life, according to a statement released by his attorney, Ed Swanson. He also thanked Apple and his friends and family “for their unwavering support.”
“As we have said from the outset, Tom is an honorable man who committed no crime. We are relieved and thankful that the Court has found that Tom is blameless and has dismissed the entire case against him,” Swanson said.
Moyer joined Apple nearly 15 years ago and served as the company’s chief compliance officer from 2009-18, according to his LinkedIn profile. He is currently on leave from his post as chief security officer, Swanson said.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.