“A probe into a prototype iPhone 4 purchased by a gadget blog is nearing its end, with investigators expected to report their findings soon,” Greg Sandoval and Declan McCullagh report for CNET. “Stephen Wagstaffe, district attorney for the county of San Mateo, Calif., told CNET today that ‘the investigation is ongoing’ and he expects it could conclude as early as next month. Investigators are close to finishing their interviews and will present him with their findings, he said.”
Sandoval and McCullagh report, “The investigation began early last year when Robert Gray Powell, a 28-year-old Apple computer engineer, left an unmarked prototype iPhone in a German beer garden in Redwood City, Calif. Brian Hogan, a 22-year-old student, found the prototype and sold it to Gawker Media’s Gizmodo for $5,000. Gawker editors and Hogan could be charged with crimes.”
“Prosecutors have confirmed that they are conducting a felony theft investigation, but no charges have been filed. They previously have said that media organizations that commit crimes should not expect to be immune from criminal laws,” Sandoval and McCullagh report. “A possible target of the investigation is Hogan, who could be accused of violating a state law dealing with misappropriating lost property. Another, which law enforcement officials have indicated is an option, is Gizmodo and its parent company Gawker Media. Police obtained a warrant to search the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen last spring.”
Sandoval and McCullagh report, “Under a California law dating back to 1872, any person who finds lost property and knows who the owner is likely to be–but ‘appropriates such property to his own use’–is guilty of theft. There are no exceptions for journalists. In addition, a second state law says any person who knowingly receives property that has been obtained illegally can be imprisoned for up to one year.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]