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Apple Corporate Crime Update
Summary of recent white collar crime charges and complaints against Apple Computer
Ashley Files a RICO Lawsuit Against Apple
As many of you know, I’ve been in a legal battle with my ex-employer for over two years now. I won my unemployment insurance appeal, the initial decision of merit on my US Department of Labor charges of whistleblower retaliation under SOX, CERCLA, and the OSH Act; my NLRB charge alleging Apple’s NDAs and employment policies violate federal law; my charge that an email from CEO Tim Cook violated federal law; and more. I’ve also been working with a number of government agencies who are investigating my complaints. In fact, my environmental complaints have led to two federal safety inspections of two Apple office buildings in Silicon Valley.
However, I still do not have final decisions on my retaliation charges against Apple and my two-year statute of limitations for many of my potential civil claims expires tomorrow. So, I filed a civil lawsuit yesterday. I decided that if I had to face Apple in court anyways, and only had one real chance to go after Apple on everything they’ve done to me, that I better include it all - and I did. I filed a RICO Act lawsuit against Apple yesterday.
My complaint includes claims for whistleblower retaliation under Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Acts which have exclusive jurisdiction in federal courts, so I filed to the US District Court in San Francisco. (I “kicked-out” my SOX charge from the US Department of Labor as I have given up on them actually fulfilling their statutory obligations after their ongoing obstruction and recent extortion attempts). I also removed my California Department of Labor case from the state agency and into the civil case, which they allow, probably because it takes years for them to even start to investigate.
While the logistics will be hectic because I now live in New York (I moved across the country to escape Apple’s deranged harassment), I filed in California because I included a number of California claims including the state Whistleblower Protection Act, California Labor Codes prohibiting terminations in retaliation for filing safety complaints or discussing work conditions, and violations of the Bane Civil Rights Act and Ralph Civil Rights Act. The Bane Act prohibits use of threats and intimidation to interfere with California resident’s exercise of their civil rights. The Ralph Civil Rights Act prohibits threats of violence against persons and property because of a person’s protected characteristic and membership of protected groups. One of those protected characteristics is “position in a labor dispute.” The list is not exclusive, so I also claimed membership in groups of privacy and environmental health activists, and membership in the group of “victims of environmental crime.”
My biggest concern about the two-year statute of limitations is it would impact my claim for a termination in violation of public policy (Tamney claim) under state law. Apple’s supposed “legitimate” justification for terminating me is itself a gross violation of California law. California provides a Constitutional right to privacy that cannot be waived in private contract or in employment, and it protects an employee’s right to protest egregious invasions of their privacy by their employer, even if they previously “consented” (ie, polygraph tests). California Labor code also prohibits employers from video recording employees in the bathroom and locker rooms. California law also prohibits terminations of employees for engaging in constitutionally protected off-duty conduct. Finally, I also incorporated the FTC Act and its prohibition on developing commercial products based on nonconsensual, or otherwise unlawful, data. Among other remedies, I also requested the disgorgement of products made based on photos, videos, biometrics, and other personal data provided through employee coercion, not actual consent — and an order prohibiting Apple from continuing their weird medical experiments and personal data harvesting on their employees.
Apple lost a Tamney claim prior from another employee in a similar situation to me, as he reported literal criminal activity and Apple fired him for reporting the criminal activity, and argued to a judge they can fire employees for whatever reason they want - and the Judge had to explain to Apple, in detail, that employers cannot fire employees for reporting crimes. (see, Banko v Apple I, and Banko v Apple II).
Finally, I also included three charges of violations of the RICO Act, under 1962 § 1962 for investing proceeds of racketeering (a), conducting and participating in racketeering (c), and conspiracy to violate the RICO Act (d). I learned a lot about the Act while doing legal research for this case. Apparently, if an employer terminates an employee in a way that constitutes an indictable criminal act that is on the enumerated list of Predicate Acts for RICO, it can then establish a RICO case with additional related Predicate Acts. Apple fired me in an egregious violation of 18 USC §§ 1512 and 1513, with me even complaining of witness intimidation as they did the deed. With that Predicate Act, I was able to weave in their additional violations of 1512 and 1513, their wire fraud and mail fraud, my complaints about Securities Fraud, and my complaints about state criminal bribery and extortion. This also opened the door to include Predicate Acts of Tom Moyer’s criminal bribery charge, Nancy Heinen’s Securities Fraud charges, and Gene Levoff’s Securities Fraud convictions. I also found a surprising doorway into integrating my toxic tort claims and Apple’s many environmental law violations which I will write about in detail later. Briefly, I embedded it under Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud (relating to CERCLA, RCRA, SARA, and Clean Air Act violations), and violations of 18 USC § 229 (“relating to Chemical Weapons”, see Bond v US).
You can read the complaint here: Ashley Gjovik v Apple, 3:23-cv-04597-LB, United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco Division.
Apple’s Chief Compliance Officer is Re-Indicted for Criminal Bribery
Tom Moyer’s been Apple’s Chief Compliance Office for over a decade. (He’s also head of “Global Security” but without the organization reporting to him and I believe he is actually the current head of Worldwide Loyalty). In his CCO role, Moyer is supposedly responsible for ensuring Apple employees comply with legal and regulatory obligations, including anti-bribery laws.
In January 2021, Moyer was arraigned for a charge of criminal bribery after being indicted by a grand jury (the testimony for which exceeded 1,200 pages and the evidence included an undercover investigation). [Indictment | Press Release from SCC DA]
Two Apple Global Security Directors flipped on Moyer and Apple, turning state’s evidence and testifying against him in exchange for immunity. Three Facebook Security Managers also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges. One of the Facebook Managers also flipped and wore wire to capture additional evidence. [Indictment | Press Release from SCC DA] The CEO of the Facebook contracted security company pleaded guilty to felony charges. [Press Release from SCC DA]
Moyer’s charge arose out of a bribery scheme with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s office. Apple wanted additional Carrying a Concealed Weapon (CCW) permits for Apple’s private security team. The Sheriff’s office asked for political donations and around $80,000 worth of iPads in exchange for approving the permits.
It also was exposed during the investigation that Apple had recently “donated” $558,969 to the Sheriff’s office in exchange for two dedicated Police Officers to work Apple Park and a commercial area just south of Apple Park, which also includes several Apple offices and where Apple employees frequent for meals and drinks. [Video of City Council Meeting].
Also curious is Apple’s efforts to obtain CCW permits instead of BSIS permits. BSIS Security permits allow exposed carry during work hours. Requesting CCW permits allows concealed carry outside of work hours. [CCW | BSIS] Why does Apple Global Security need concealed handguns outside work hours but for work purposes? Are the Apple “security” personnel these CCW permits were intended for, not licensed private security guards under BPC § 7582.1?
In June 2021, the charge against Moyer was unexpectedly dismissed sua sponte by a trial Judge Eric Geffon. Judge Geffon reported in his 2021-2022 Form 700 filings that he owns between $100,001-$1,000,000 worth of Apple stock. It is unclear why he did not recuse himself from the matter. During the hearing, the Judge claimed there was no corrupt intent on Moyer’s part and thus he did not commit bribery. Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen protested the dismissal.
“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,” Rosen said. “We stand by the grand jury’s decision and are evaluating our options.” (2021)
In August 2023, District Attorney Rosen won an appeal in state appellate court. The Sixth Appellate District Court of Appeals found there was corrupt intent on Moyer’s part. Moyer apparently had argued that it wasn’t bribery because he was providing payment on behalf of Apple, not himself; that he was providing the payment to the Sheriff’s Office, not the specific Undersheriff he was speaking with; and that the Undersheriff asked him for the bribe and it wasn’t unlawful for him to accept. The Appellate court disagreed on all points and re-instated the charge of criminal bribery against Moyer. The decision also revealed new facts about what occurred, including Moyer’s involvement in “clandestine meetings” and falsifying a paper trail. [Decision]
“Moyer is right back where he should be,” Rosen said in a statement. “On the trial calendar and charged with bribery.” (2023)
Remarkably, Apple has not only retained Moyer in his current position, but has made statements publicly supporting Moyer. Apple claimed: "After learning of the allegations, we conducted a thorough internal investigation and found no wrongdoing." Reading the facts and evidence noted in the appellate decision, it seems impossible that Apple would have actually investigated and found no wrongdoing. Apple must have felt confident the charge against Moyer would somehow disappear.
Sentencing Delays for Apple’s Corporate Secretary Convicted of Fraud
Speaking of falsifying paper trails… Apple has a long track record of it’s corporate secretaries being charged with fraud. In 2007, Apple General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Nancy Heinen was charged with an impressive number and variety of securities fraud offenses. Among other things, she allegedly drafted and signed off on minutes for an Apple Board meeting that never happened, falsifying a paper trail to support a scheme to grant the executives larger stock bonuses. Heinen settled with the SEC in 2008 and paid $2.2M to avoid a trial. [Press Release: SEC]
Then, in February 2019, Apple VP of Corporate law and Corporate Secretary, Gene Levoff, was charged with 12 counts of fraud. [Press Releases from SEC | DOJ; Complaint]. Levoff oversaw Apple’s Insider Trading compliance program and was responsible for ensuring Apple employees did not engage in insider trading. The six counts of securities fraud and six counts of wire fraud were based on Levoff engaging in Insider Trading. Levoff’s defense at trial was, among other interesting claims, that Insider Trading laws violate the US Constitution and therefore cannot be enforced against him. In 2020, Levoff’s Motion to Dismiss was Denied with a Judge confirming that Insider Trading laws are Constitutional, and enforceable, and Levoff should know that because it was literally his job. [Court Ruling]. In 2022, in a settlement deal, Levoff pleaded guilty to six of the charges, which spanned five years at Apple (2011-2016). [Press Release: DOJ]
Levoff still has not been sentenced and it is unclear why. His sentencing date was Nov 10 2022. He faces a maximum of twenty years is prison and $5M fine for each charge.
“Apple is the World’s Most Dishonest Company”
The article starts out:
“Inventors have accused Apple of stealing technology for decades, but until recently, most have been dismissed by the public or bullied by threats of legal and financial ruin from Apple.
Some people just don’t want to believe that the world’s largest company is also the world’s most dishonest, and that’s the way Apple likes it.”
- Mark Cooper
Cooper goes on to discuss the US International Trade Commission (USITC) hearings on Apple’s infringement of Masimo patents, explaining that after Apple lost on the merits of the case, Apple decided to wage a PR offensive and orchestrated a surge of articles trying to “exploit the anxieties of veterans”, claiming an import ban (Apple’s punishment for breaking the law) would prohibit veteran’s from accessing PTSD care. He urges “D.C. politicians should not succumb to Apple’s false pressure campaign.” He explains the import ban protects a company who actually owns the patent (Masimo) and which uses US-based manufacturing to create a superior product. Cooper refers to Apple as an "antisocial bully,” and I have to say, based on my own experience with Apple, I agree.
Read the article on The Hill here: “Apple’s anti-competitive tactics must be stopped” by Mark Cooper (Aug 19 2023)
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