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Mercredi, 12 Octobre 2011 02:41

Duo Who Sold Lost iPhone 4 Prototype Sentenced to Probation

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brian-hoganTwo young men involved in the sale of an iPhone 4 prototype found in a Silicon Valley bar last year pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of theft Tuesday, putting an end to the drawn-out drama.

The two have each been sentenced to one year of probation, 40 hours of community service and will have to pay $250 each in restitution to Apple, according to CNET.

Brian Hogan, a 21-year-old student at the time, admitted to finding the phone at the Gourmet Haus Staudt in Redwood City, California, after it was left behind by an Apple engineer named Gray Powell, and later selling it to Gizmodo. Sage Wallower, a friend of Hogan’s, who reportedly helped shop the device around to media outlets.

“We asked for some jail time,” San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told CNET. “The judge considered that Wallower had served in the armed forces and Hogan was enrolled in San Jose State and neither had any criminal record, and decided that jail time wasn’t required…. This was a couple of youthful people who should have known better.”

In April last year, Gizmodo, which is owned by Gawker Media, published a bombshell story about the iPhone prototype, after paying $5,000 for exclusive access to the device. Gizmodo eventually returned the device to Apple, but not before publishing numerous photos of the phone.

Apple told police at the time that the publication of Gizmodo’s story was “immensely damaging” to the company, because consumers would stop buying current generation iPhones in anticipation of the upcoming product. Apple told police that the device “was invaluable.”

Hogan was at the German beer garden Haus Staudt with friends when another patron handed him the phone after finding it on a nearby stool. The patron asked Hogan if the phone belonged to him, and then left the bar. Hogan asked others sitting nearby if the phone belonged to them, and when no one claimed it, he and his friends left the bar with the device.

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Duo Who Sold Lost iPhone 4 Prototype Sentenced to ProbationKim Zetter is a senior reporter at Wired covering cybercrime, privacy, security and civil liberties.
Follow @KimZetter on Twitter.

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