Two men who obtained and sold a lost iPhone 4 prototype months before its release have been charged for misdemeanor by a California court.
The San Mateo Country District Attorney’s Office has filed charges against Brian Hogan and Sage Wallower with one count each of ‘possession of lost property’ and ‘misappropriation of lost property’ after selling the handset, allegedly left by an Apple employee in a California bar.
Hogan, a 22-year old student at the time, found the handset and sold it to tech site Gizmodo for $5,000. Wallower, a UC Berkley graduate contacted the site with intention to sell it, but claims he was never in possession of the handset.
The pair will face a judge on August 25th to plead their case.
Meanwhile, Gizmodo, which published photos and stories about the phone, has been acquitted of any wrongdoing and no criminal charges will be filed against its employees, including editor Jason Chen.
Morley Pitt, assistant D.A. of San Mateo County said the decision to pay for the prototype was “not motivated by financial greed” and that Chen was within his rights of “undertaking a journalistic investigation".
In a statement, Gimzodo said: “We are pleased that the District Attorney of San Mateo County, Steven Wagstaffe, has decided, upon review of all of the evidence, that no crime was committed by the Gizmodo team in relation to its reporting on the iPhone 4 prototype last year.
“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.”