iPhone HD prototype finders outed

Apr 30, 2010
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In the ongoing iPhone HD saga, we've seen the engineer who lost the prototype handset named, various legal strategies played - including an evidence-collecting police raid - and now, finally, the names of the people in the center of all this: the person who took the smartphone from the bar, and his friend who helped him to hawk it around tech blogs.  Wired has been chasing down the identity and various details on Brian J. Hogan, the 21 year old who removed the iPhone HD from the bar at which Apple engineer Gray Powell left it, while CNET turned their attention to Sage Robert Wallower, his 27-year-old friend who, they say, acted as "go-between" in negotiating the sale of the prototype.

Hogan is known to have retained legal advice, and both say they are willing to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.  Neither has been charged with any crime, with Stephen Wagstaffe, chief deputy district attorney, only stating that the felony criminal investigation was still being looked at, and that his team were "still collecting facts."  However, he also said that Hogan "is very definitely one of the people who is being looked at as a suspect in theft."

"I'm not the person who found it. I didn't see it or touch it in any manner. But I know who found it ... I think I have already said too much" Sage Robert Wallower

It's not directly clear whether Wallower is the unnamed individual who, according to Wired's piece, "offered to call Apple Care on Hogan's behalf, according to Hogan’s lawyer."  The site has named themselves as one of the tech blogs offered the prototype, but they claim to have ceased contact "after the tipster made a thinly veiled request for money."

Hogan was later paid $5,000 for the device, though his lawyer insists that he thought that was so that the buyers "could review the phone," presumably rather than outright selling it. "This thing has gotten completely, completely out of control,” lawyer Jeffrey Bornstein reckons, "he made a mistake, he should have just immediately turned that phone in."


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