As you may remember about a year ago two men found a prototype iPhone 4, and they allegedly sold it to the gadget blog Gizmodo. The San Mateo County District attorney’s office pressed criminal charges against the two men.
Brian Hogan is the person who found a prototype iPhone in a bar in California, when an engineer from the Apple Company left it there unattended. The district attorney of San Mateo County, Steve Wagstaffe, pressed charges of misdemeanor theft against Brian Hogan.
Sage Robert Wallower was also charged because he got in touch with various online technology sites. Presumably, he was contacting them in an attempt to sell the prototype phone. Wallower is a previous Navy crypto logic technician who intended to graduate UC Berkley. He had a personal interview with one of the media organizations, and he mentioned that he did not see it nor touch the phone in any way. However he is acquainted with the responsible individual.
Robert Gray Powell is the 28 year old Apple engineer who left his prototype iPhone in a bar at Redwood City, California. Hogan found the phone and put it up for sale to Gizmodo for a price of $5,000.
The court released some documents which provided evidence that Apple was able to contact the police to investigate the iPhone case. The following day, Gizmodo brought out the photographs of the prototype, for which they were unable to name a price.
For more than one year, Hogan was seen as the main criminal. In the California law of 1872, a person who locates a lost item and knows who the possessor is, but makes use of it as his own property, is pressed guilty of robbery.
Also, an individual who on purposely receives an item that has been attained illegitimately can be sent to jail for at least one year. Ownership of a stolen property, with unacceptable explanation of the tenure, will come out as that the property which was obtained with information it was stolen. The state also articulates that missing material that has a value of $100 or higher, should be handed over to the appropriate authorities – police department.
Jeff Boornstein is Brian Hogan’s lawyer. He mentioned in a statement that his client is tremendously regretful for not doing the right thing, which should have been returning the found mobile phone at the Redwood City bar. Although their party doesn’t need to accept the pressed charges, Hogan recognizes the consequences of his actions. They are fully accommodating to the district attorney.
On the other hand, the Gizmodo team was glad that the District Attorney of San Mateo County did not press any charges against them. After reviewing all the investigations and evidences, it was proven that they were not guilty of anything. Even though California law doesn’t strictly shield journalists of criminal behavior, it does provide some sort of protection to newspapers and online publications.