30 November 2020

Santa Clara district attorney’s office announced in a press release that Apple’s head of security has been indicted on felony charges for allegedly attempting to bribe California police officers with iPads in exchange for firearms licenses.

According to a grand jury indictment, Chief Security Officer Thomas Moyer promised to give the Santa Clara County sheriff’s office 200 iPads, worth about $70,000, in exchange for concealed weapons permits (CCW), while insurance broker Harpreet Chadha, 49, offered to give away $,6000 worth of sports seats.

Generally fees of between $200 and $400 are required to obtain a CCW license. Under state law, CCW license is required to carry a concealed firearm. An applicant should demonstrate “good cause”, complete a firearms course and have good moral character. The sheriff has broad discretion in determining who should qualify. This shows that the state law is ambiguous. The sheriff should disclose what other factors are considered in selecting candidates to receive licences. These factors should be enshrined in the law so that the whole process of CCW licensing will be transparent and there will be no doubt in the minds of the applicants. This will make the whole process of licensing transparent and will not give room for bribery and corruption.

Thomas Moyer offered $70,000 worth of iPads and insurance agent offered $6,000 in luxury sports seats. So altogether $76,000 worth of bribe in exchange for licences for 4 employees. This works to about $19,000 per license. This seems to be really exorbitant compared to the maximum fee of $400.

Then this case begs the question why Apple or its employees needed concealed weapons. If the employees are engaged is services like security they may require some kind of weapons, not necessarily concealed. If this is the case, the mechanism to issue firearms to security personnel should be clarified and defined. If the requirement was not in the line of duty, then all the employees of Apple may one day want to have concealed weapons. This would be ridiculous.