Identity released of man who sold apparent next-generation iPhone found at bar


By Bay City News Service

Attorneys have named the 21-year-old man who sold an apparent next-generation iPhone prototype he found at a Redwood City bar last month to a tech blog, prompting a criminal investigation.

Brian Hogan was at Gourmet Haus Staudt on March 18 when another customer at the bar handed him the phone after finding it on a bar stool near where Hogan had been sitting, according to Jeffrey Bornstein, an attorney for Hogan.

Hogan later sold the phone to the technology blog Gizmodo for $5,000, thinking the blog was only going to review the phone, according to Bornstein.

"He regrets his mistake in not doing more to return the phone (to Apple)," Bornstein said.

Hogan is "fully cooperating and will continue to do so" with a criminal investigation into the discovery and sale of the phone as a possible theft, Bornstein said today.

A joint police task force served a search warrant at the Fremont home of a Gizmodo editor April 23 in connection with the possible theft of the iPhone.

San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said earlier this week investigators took a computer and other items from Jason Chen's home.

The search was carried out by investigators from the Silicon Valley-based Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team, which is made up of members of various police departments in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Wagstaffe said the district attorney's office sought the warrant after speaking with representatives from Apple as well as the person from whom the phone may have been stolen.

Gizmodo has, on its blog, chronicled the path of the iPhone. The gadget-focused blog disassembled the phone and listed "All the details about the next iPhone'' on its Web site,

Wagstaffe said no arrests have been made in the case and that it is "purely investigative."

He said the district attorney's office has been in touch with representatives of Gizmodo who claim the computer is protected under California shield laws and said that it won't be searched until legal issues are resolved.

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