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

An appeals court has reversed a 2021 decision to drop a bribery charge against Apple's head of global security, who is accused of donating iPads worth up to $80,000 to a sheriff's office in exchange for giving his Cupertino agents concealed carry weapon licenses. The appeals judges said that even a "promise" to donate the …

  1. sitta_europea Silver badge

    No, of course he didn't commit a crime.

    He'd have given a couple of hundred iPads to anyone who asked for them, wouldn't he?

    I mean, Apple is such a generous, upstanding company.

    Isn't it?

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      I've browsed through the linked articles and some of the court findings. The evidence doesn't appear to be overwhelming either way. The iPads could have been specific quid pro quo for the CCW licenses, or just a general goodwill donation arranged by a high-ranking Apple employee for an outside organization, which would not constitute bribery. Both the dismissal and the reinstatement by the District Court appear to hinge on presumptions about Moyer's likely state of mind and whether there was mens rea.

      Basically, the grand jury returned an indictment because they found there was enough evidence to suggest there should be a trial. Indicting grand juries return an indictment in the vast majority of cases.

      The trial court dismissed the case on the grounds that insufficient evidence for mens rea existed, specifically because the judge thought the preponderance of evidence suggested that Moyer thought the CCW permits were already approved (so no quid pro quo was needed). The district court disagreed on the grounds that Moyer's actions could be seen as sufficient evidence to justify a trial – that is, that the evidence needed to be evaluated by a jury (or a judge if Moyer did not request a jury trial).

      So the question is whether there's enough evidence supporting a finding of an intent to bribe that there's a reasonable expectation that a jury could find Moyer guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That's still a very obscure situation. This is basically judges quibbling over whether the prosecution has any (reasonable) hope of proving their case.

  2. Brad Ackerman

    The ability to give special privileges to your friends is the best-case explanation of why may-issue CCW regimes are in place in the US. You'll know an American jurisdiction is serious about gun control when there is an objective licensing process that applies equally to all, and someone who needs otherwise-illegal firearms for their job (whether it's police officers or private-sector workers) has to check them out of their employer's armory at the start of their shift and check them back in at the end.

  3. gnasher729 Silver badge

    It seems the guy wanted some “concealed carry” licenses, with a legitimate reason. The sheriff said “no problem but you’ll have to pay me”, and he’s in jail now because that wasn’t the first time.

    The guy was willing to pay by handing over 200 iPads but changed his mind at the last second when he heard the sheriff was in trouble.

    So he was kind of forced to offer a bribe, he promised a bribe, but never actually bribed him. Because he changed his mind when he knew this would be found out. So did he commit a crime? Don’t know.

    1. sitta_europea Silver badge

      Yes he did, it's called a conspiracy.

      1. YetAnotherLocksmith Silver badge

        If that's as low as the bar is, trump and a huge number of others are going to prison for a long time!

        On the other hand, this guy can use whatever trump says to get off the charges, since, you know, justice is blind, the law is equal, and all that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Reading the article, I was immediately reminded of Trump Jr. meeting with a Russian lawyer to get dirt on Hillary Clinton, to use against her in the presidential campaign. Which, being from a foreign government, would be illegal. And he did, in fact, have the meeting, with that being the stated purpose of the meeting. But since the lawyer didn't actually provide the information, Trump Jr. was considered innocent?

      2. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Except a conspiracy requires that you do _something_ to further the goal of the conspiracy. Did he ask anyone at Apple how to get 200 iPads? I mean even at Apple headquarters, I assume that they don't just have palettes loaded with iPads sitting around for self service. So telling the ex-police officer "Ok, I'll get you 200 iPads" is NOT a conspiracy yet.

        In addition, it is doubtful that a crime that requires two people by its very nature, like bribery, would be a conspiracy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You can ask any non-US company, even if you are forced by the official you are working with to pay a bribe, you are the one who is performing the corruption.

      And so you are condemned to heavy fines by the USA, especially if you were a competitor for a US company who didn't pay enough to get the contract.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        God, now I'm having flashbacks to the "Bribery and Anti-Corruption" training I was made to re-take every year in my former life at a large US company. "If you have taken this training before, you can choose to skip straight to the test. If you fail the test, you will have to sit through the whole bloody boring and patronising thing all over again, and endure it as it uses painfully staged actors taking 10 minutes each time to role-play a scenario that could be described in one 10-second paragraph. Clockwork Orange-style eyelid clamps will be provided. If you scream or whimper, the entire training will start over."

        One of my few pleasures was telling my boss, when in weekly Staff meeting he asked if I'd done it, "Yes, I bribed an underage child of a North Korean government official to take it for me..." - seeing each year how many violations I could lard into one response :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I somewhat enjoyed my bribery (well, anti-bribery) training. Of course that's partly because I used it as an opportunity to create my own Powerpoint presentation discouraging bribery and corruption, which was a lot more entertaining than the company's. It's been circulating around my teams for a few years now. (And, no, I'm not going to make it public. For one thing, I re-used some of the material from the real one, and copyright may attach even given the parody Fair Use exception. For another, it could be seen as reflecting in some way on my employer.)

          And, of course, I enjoyed taking the test (because, hey, a test!), and complaining to my colleagues afterward about how poor a test it was (because I used to be a teacher).

  4. Marty McFly Silver badge

    This is the problem with "May Issue" states vs "Shall Issue" states

    In a Shall Issue state, the issuing authority must issue a Concealed Carry Weapons permit if the applicant meets the requirements put forth by the legislature.

    In a May Issue state, the issuing authority may or may not issue a CCW, depending on the applicant's reason for wanting one. This introduces a subjective component to the process which leads to these types of situations.

    California is a May Issue state and the Sheriff is the issuing authority. Remember, the Sheriff is an elected official which runs a campaign every few years. Surely there is no correlation between campaign contributors & CCW permits in May Issue states?

    Shall Issue laws solve this problem by giving the issuing authority clear cut instructions on what requirements need to be met. The majority of states have some component of Shall Issue, with only a handful of states remaining pure May Issue. The trend is toward Shall Issue and it is surprising the more progressive states have not adopted it by now.,_timeline.gif

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