DA May Charge Gizmodo for iPhone Prototype Grab

The San Mateo County district attorney's office is nearing an end to a felony theft investigation on whether it will charge a man for allegedly selling an iPhone prototype for $5,000 to a gadget blog and the editor who took possession of it.

An Apple engineer left the prototype in a beer garden in Redwood City and Brian Hogan, 22, found the phone and had the bright idea to sell it to Gizmodo for $5,000, according to CNET. Both Hogan and Gizmodo editors could also face charges.

The felony theft investigation began early last year and court documents were made available to the public last May and that Apple had pressured local police to investigate.

While no charges have been made, D.A. Stephen Wagstaffe said he expects to see the investigation results as early as month and make a decision based on the evidence. Wagstaffe said the investigation has taken so long because his office has been busy dealing with other cases.

Both Hogan and Gawker Media, the parent company of the Gizmodo gadget blog, could be accused of misappropriating lost property. I think the usual name for that kind of crime is called selling and receiving stolen goods.

Will either face charges? It's unknown at this point, but with Apple pursuing this and hoping for prosecution with all its might -- few suspects would stand a chance. 


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