The two men who allegedly found Apple’s iPhone 4 prototype last year have pleaded no-contest, and have received a relatively modest sentence: one year probation, 40 hours community service, and a $250 restitution payment to Apple. Brian Hogan, who found the device, and Sage Wallower, who helped shop the device around to various tech sites, were charged with misdemeanor theft in August.
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe spoke to CNET about the decision: “We asked for some jail time,” said Wagstaffe. “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. Someone from my office called Apple’s general counsel. This is a fairly routine theft case. This was a couple of youthful people who should have known better.”
If you’ll recall, the iPhone 4 prototype was lost by an Apple employee at a German Beer Garden in nearby Redwood City, Calif. Subsequently, Hogan found the prototype, and eventually sold it to Gizmodo. Brian Lam, editor of Gizmodo at the time, recently recounted the events that happened after the iPhone prototype was found, and his regrets about how things went down with him and Steve Jobs.
Both were lucky to avoid jail time, although the pair’s cooperation may have influenced the judge’s decision as well as not having any previous criminal record. Jeff Bornstein, Hogan’s attorney, issued the following statement in August when charges were filed: “Brian Hogan, who has never been in trouble with the law…is extremely remorseful for not having done more to return the cell phone he found in a Redwood City bar…Although we do not believe that charges of any kind should have been filed, Brian fully accepts responsibility of his actions. We are working cooperatively with the district attorney.”
Now that the sentence has been decided, it looks as though we can finally put the whole iPhone 4 prototype affair behind us.