Men involved in stolen iPhone 4 prototype case get one year probation

By on October 12, 2011, 2:00 PM

The two men that reportedly sold a lost iPhone 4 prototype to tech blog Gizmodo last year have pleaded no contest to misdemeanor theft of lost property. Brian John Hogan, 22, and Sage Robert Wallower, 28, were each sentenced to one year probation, 40 hours of community service and $250 in damages to Apple.

The story took the tech world by storm last year when Engadget posted photos of what they said was the next iPhone nearly two months before it was unveiled. Apparently the staff passed on buying the phone which later ended up in the hands of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen. The device was allegedly found on a floor at a bar in Redwood City, California and later sold to Gizmodo for $5,000. Gizmodo did a full “review” of the device complete with photos and video footage.

The phone turned out to be the real thing and Apple feverishly wanted it back. The device was returned but Apple moved further and obtained a search warrant for the editor’s home. Police seized multiple computers and servers during the raid.

Chen and Gizmodo were eventually cleared of any wrongdoing, although there has been some fallout since the incident. Gizmodo had their Apple press privileges permanently revoked and Chen no longer works for the blog.

Hogan and Wallower were allowed to keep the $5,000 that they earned for selling the prototype, although that money has likely been spent on attorney fees and other legal-related expenditures.




User Comments: 7

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Guest said:

I'm assuming "Chen" was the editor that had his home searched.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guess they passed on trying to utilize the age-old "finders keepers, losers weepers" defense?

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

I'm assuming "Chen" was the editor that had his home searched.

That would be correct. Read above that:

Apparently the staff passed on buying the phone which later ended up in the hands of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen.

Panda218 Panda218 said:

Why would anyone want to spend $5,000 on an iphone?

Uvindu said:

Panda218 said:

Why would anyone want to spend $5,000 on an iphone?

Because it wasn't released at the time and everyone was wondering what it would be like and stuff...

Scshadow said:

How can you charge someone theft of abandoned property? If law enforcement can collect abandoned dna samples on trashed cups and discarded cigarettes and use it for evidence, well why can't we take abandoned Iphones? The dictatorship and the law side-stepping spirit of Steve Jobs lives on in apple.

Guest said:

Apple never publicly admitted that it was theirs. I don't see how they can be charged with "misappropriation of lost property and possession of stolen property" when no one claimed it as lost or stolen. If you read blam's personal recollection of the events, Steve called him up personally on several occasions, asking for the phone, but refusing to publicly admit it was Apple's. That was the primary reason that Gawker as a company insisted on running the stories. They basically held it hostage: except the ransom was to claim it and the "or else" was to publish. http://radiomobiletech.com/blogposts/court-sentences-iphone-
rototype-sellers-to-one-year-of-probation.html

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