Man who 'found' prototype iPhone 4 charged

Chen escapes legal action

iPhone 4   prototype trouble

A man who claims to have found an iPhone 4 prototype in a bar, before selling it to a technology blog has been charged by police.

Brian Hogan, who sold the prototype for $5,000 after an Apple employee misplaced the device, has been charged with a handling stolen goods and misappropriation of lost property.

A second man, Sage Robert Wallower, who allegedly shopped the handset around to the various tech blogs has also been charged with misdemeanor offences by the DA in San Mateo County, California.

However, no charges will be brought against Gizmodo or editor Jason Chen who bought the device, revealed it in photos and videos on the internet before tearing it down to check out the innards.

"After a consideration of all of the evidence, it was determined that no charges would be filed against employees of Gizmodo," said a statement from the District Attorney's office.

Within the law

The discovery of the iPhone 4, which turned out to be one launched by Steve Jobs in June last year, proved one of the biggest tech stories of the year and defied Apple's notorious code of secrecy.

Gizmodo earned the scoop of the year and Chen gained a lot of plaudits for having the courage to run with the story when its rivals turned down the prototype.

However, Chen himself was soon the victim of a police raid at his home, and the influential blog has since been blacklisted by Apple as a result of the iPhone 4 revelation.

Gawker Media, owner of Gizmodo added: "While we have always believed that we were acting fully within the law, it has inevitably been stressful for the editor concerned, Jason Chen, and we are glad that we can finally put this matter behind us."

Serving hard time

If found guilty of the charges, Hogan and Wallower face up to a year in country jail and a fine of up to $1,000 dollars.

Court proceedings will begin in Redwood City on 25 August, which is where poor Apple computer engineer Robert Gray Powell is said to have left the iPhone prototype on the bar after a beer or two.

There's a pattern emerging this week? Everyone accused of stealing from Apple is suddenly falling foul of the law.

Link: PC Mag