Unsealed iPhone 4G warrant reveals felony allegations, more | iLounge News


Unsealed iPhone 4G warrant reveals felony allegations, more

A San Mateo judge has unsealed legal documents relating to the ongoing investigation into the loss, purchase, and subsequent publication of details regarding a prototype fourth-generation iPhone. Contained within the documents are a number of new details relating to the case, including an affidavit suggesting that Gizmodo editor Jason Chen was suspected of purchasing or receiving stolen Apple property, maliciously damaging the property, and copying an Apple trade secret. All three crimes are considered felony offenses.

According to the affidavit, prototype iPhone finder Brian Hogan learned the identity of the Apple engineer who lost the device the same evening it came into his possession, and recognized that it was, in fact, a more advanced device than any currently available iPhone model. This information came from Hogan’s roommate, who reported the incident to Apple after Hogan connected the device to her own personal computer, believing the company could trace the device back to her. Apple representatives told the authorities that the publication of details relating to the prototype phone was “immensely damaging,” and could hurt sales. The same roommate claims Hogan realized the potential value of the device, and contacted Gizmodo, Engadget, and PC World in an attempt to start a bidding war for the iPhone.

Within 10 days of obtaining the phone, Hogan made contact with Chen, who offered to purchase the device for $10,000—twice the amount Gizmodo parent Gawker Media has claimed it paid. Hogan had reportedly already received between $7,500 and $8,500 for the device at the time the affidavit was filed, with a bonus to be paid if and when Apple publicly unveiled the device. When told of the amount Hogan would receive for the device, the roommate asked why Gizmodo would pay so much for it, to which Hogan allegedly replied, “[t]hey know it’s valuable. They would receive millions and millions of hits.” The roommate also claims that she and others attempted to talk Hogan out of selling the phone, saying it would damage the career of the Apple engineer who lost it, to which Hogan reportedly replied “[s]ucks for him. He lost his phone. Shouldn’t have lost his phone.”

Notably, the document also contains copies of emails from Gizmodo Editorial Director Brian Lam to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, in which Lam attempts to negotiate with Jobs for some benefit to Gizmodo in exchange for returning the phone, and to Apple Senior Vice President Bruce Sewell, the majority of which has already been published, save for an odd remark at the end referring to “spankings.” A complete collection of the documents unsealed today is embedded below.


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There is a whole lot of personal information in that document, including dates of birth, phone numbers and addresses. Shouldn’t those be blacked out?

Posted by Anonymous on May 14, 2010 at 5:34 PM (CDT)


I really hope all involved in this sordid affair (the thief, Chen) get what they deserve - jail time.

Posted by Zaphod on May 14, 2010 at 9:41 PM (CDT)


Wow, the hubris from Gawker is incredible. Including edits made to the content AFTER it was published, trying to alter how they come off to readers. They clearly knew what they were doing, knew it was wrong, and tried to set it up differently. They should have hired better lawyers. And Hogan’s roommate should get the hell away from him, he’s clearly a douchebag. Hopefully, she has moved out already.

Posted by sleepdawg on May 15, 2010 at 12:06 AM (CDT)


I sincerely hope Apple is filming every moment of this marketing campaign of theirs. I want to but it on iTunes when it’s available.

Posted by Herr Doktor on May 15, 2010 at 12:08 AM (CDT)


Hogan: guilty of grand theft, sale of stolen property, conspiracy to commit a crime, and obstruction of justice (attempting to hide evidence). That’s four felonies. With California’s Three Strikes Law, Hogan may get life in prison without parole.

Chen: guilty of grand theft, purchasing and receiving stolen property, conspiracy to commit a crime,  felony vandalism (damaging the stolen iPhone), and trade secrets law violation. Five felonies. Life in prison.

Lam: guilty of being an accessory to a crime, conspiracy to commit a crime, extortion (attempting to coerce Steve Jobs in return of stolen property in his possession), violation of trade secrets law.  Four felonies. Life in prison.

The journalist shield law does not protect journalists who, themselves, are the criminals.

Posted by James Katt on May 15, 2010 at 4:33 PM (CDT)


James Katt:  that’s not how the CA three strikes law works.  It applies only when the convict has PRIOR felony convictions.

Posted by Michael Shigeno on May 15, 2010 at 10:43 PM (CDT)


Add to docs:

“[s]ucks for you, Hogan.  Shouldn’t have sold the phone.  Now anyone who does a search on you won’t trust your @$$ at all.  Good luck in your next job search, and in getting a new place to live when your roommates kick you to the curb.”

Posted by ramcm7 on May 15, 2010 at 11:00 PM (CDT)


Michael Shigeno: Correc about the three strikes lawt. And I have to add, anyone who thinks these guys should get life in prison over this really needs to check their priorities.

Posted by Dale on May 17, 2010 at 11:46 AM (CDT)


I sent this article to my brother and his response summed this up pretty well:
\This is my favorite part:

“... Lam attempts to negotiate with Jobs for some benefit to Gizmodo in exchange for returning the phone…”

Talk about self-disillusioned. Fremont web-boy actually thought that he had what it took to go toe-to-toe with Steve Friggin Jobs in business negotiatons—Steve Jobs—- the guy who negotiated his way back into Apple after he was ousted… The same Steve Jobs who negotiated the deal for him to own Pixar… And negotiated a deal that made him majority stock owner of the &@!**-ing DISNEY empire.

Yeah, Mr. Gizmodo was up to the task.

Posted by davjaxn on May 17, 2010 at 1:33 PM (CDT)


The 4G iPhone is advanced? Does it have a REPLACEABLE BATTERY which is easily replaceable BY THE USER? If it does, then yes, it is advanced; if not, then it is a piece of garbage no matter how many “bells and whistles” it might have.

Posted by John Stockman on May 18, 2010 at 9:28 PM (CDT)


John Stockman:

My friend has a 1st gen iPhone- scratched and a little beat up from years of love and use.  He brought it the Apple store to buy a new battery for it. $60 and he walked out with a brand new battery- in a new, factory refurbished 1st gen iPhone that hadn’t a scratch or dent on it. Brand new for all intents and purposes.

$60 for a brand new battery AND new phone. Not bad at all. I call that advanced. Especially in the customer service department.

Posted by davjaxn on May 21, 2010 at 10:48 AM (CDT)

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