Suspects Plead Not Guilty in Lost iPhone 4 Prototype Case

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gizmodo iphone 4 prototype comparison back
Just as Apple is reportedly dealing with the lose of another iPhone prototype, two suspects in the case of last year's lost iPhone 4 prototype have pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor theft charges, according to CNET. That iPhone prototype was lost in a Redwood City, California bar and later sold to Gizmodo. Gizmodo was officially cleared last month as charges were brought against two suspects claimed to be responsible for finding and selling the prototype.

At an arraignment here this morning, Brian Hogan, the man who allegedly found the prototype in a bar after it was left there by an Apple engineer, and Robert Sage Wallower, who is accused of that charge as well as possessing stolen property, entered their pleas before Superior Court Judge Jonathan Karesh.

A pretrial conference is scheduled for October 11.

Hogan has acknowledged finding and selling the iPhone, while Wallower has been accused of acting as a middleman in shopping the device around to various tech sites. Under California law dating back well over 100 years, anyone who finds lost property and who knows the identity of the property's likely owner is guilty of theft if they appropriate the property for their own uses instead of returning it.

Top Rated Comments

mbh Avatar
123 months ago


Easy defense.
When it comes to consumer goods, the manufacturer is quite often not the owner.


Sorry, but you're overlooking the fact that Hogan knew exactly who the phone belonged to. The phone was logged into Gray Powell's facebook page! Gizmodo bragged about having the phone of an Apple engineer.

It would have taken 1 minute to leave a message for Gray that he found his phone and how to retrieve it. Or he could have given it to the manager of the bar he found it in.

This is basic decency, people. Don't take things that don't belong to you! Hogan made no apparent effort to return the phone and deserves to be found guilty.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jeffreyropp Avatar
123 months ago
I love the "no crime was committed" arguments. By their logic, I can simply take anything that is unattended without consequences. Utter nonsense.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BC2009 Avatar
123 months ago
Hogan knew whose phone it was and made no effort to return it. He pulled up the Facebook app right after finding the phone. He knew the owner was an Apple engineer. The way I see it, Hogan had three honest options at that point:

1) Get a hold of Powell and tell him he had the phone.

2) Give it to the bar to the owner of the establishment and let him know Powell's contact info from facebook.

3) Leave the phone where he found it and walk away.

Hogan took the phone instead and decided to sell it to a gadget blog. He knew what he was doing. He knew it was not his. That's just wrong. If I set my wallet on a table and step away for a moment it does not make it fair game for anybody who wants it. Taking it is still stealing.

I think the number of people who want Hogan to get off without a conviction want that because they probably also lack the decency to return something that does not belong to them.

One of my favorite movie scenes of all time is the beginning of The Family Man (with Nicholas Cage) where the angel in disguise gives somebody the wrong amount of change to see if they will be honest about pointing that out and giving it back. The person takes the money and leaves and the angel is left there disappointed in the state of humanity.

If Hogan had integrity and returned the device he may have even gotten a nice reward for it. Instead he let his greed overcome him and made the wrong choice. His friends even urged him to return it. It sounds like the guy needs to learn a lesson about this the hard way if you ask me.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PeterQVenkman Avatar
123 months ago

Something found and sold shouldn't be a crime.

You can't think of any situation where that could be a problem?


Back on topic - I still want them to go after gizmodo/gawker for buying it, just because I think they are scum/hacks who call themselves journalists but only pretend to be when they need legal protection from something they did wrong.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
marksman Avatar
123 months ago
Guilty. Throw the iBook at them
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mars478 Avatar
123 months ago
I can't believe this has dragged on out for SOOO long...
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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