The man who claims to have found an iPhone 4 prototype in a bar, Brian Hogan, before selling it to the operators of the online web site Gizmodo for $5,000, was charged overnight with handling stolen goods and misappropriation of lost property. Yet the publication that bought the yet to be released iPhone 4 have walked away scot-free.Meanwhile Gismodo editor Jason Chen who bought the device from Hogan, for the purposes of bragging about the acquisition of stolen property has not been charged.
A second man, Sage Robert Wallower, who allegedly shopped the handset around to the various tech blogs has also been charged by the DA in San Mateo County, California.
If found guilty of the charges Hogan and Wallower, face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 dollars.
“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.
The failure to charge Chen with receiving stolen property despite a police raid at his home has upset some people involved in the case.
Since the incident Gizmodo has been blacklisted by Apple as a result of the iPhone 4 revelation.
Gawker Media, owner of Gizmodo said in a statement: “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.”