Gizmodo editor Jason Chen is being investigated for possible receipt of stolen property, copying a trade secret and destruction of property worth more than $400. Gizmodo had taken the prototype apart and Apple claimed that doing this left the phone damaged. The affidavit includes the whole story of how the iPhone was found at the Gourmet Haus Staudt in Redwood City. Apple engineer Gray Powell had put the phone inside a bag which was placed on the floor. The phone might have slipped out of the bag and even Powell feels that it was unlikely that the phone was stolen. California law considers it theft if property is found and used for the "finder's" benefit without making an effort to return the property to its rightful owner. No charges have been filed yet, but are expected soon. Hogan is a suspect and there still is a chance that Chen or Gizmodo could be named defendants. If you are pre-law or just looking to kill some time, check out the affidavit by clicking on this link
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After the news media requested it, Judge Clifford Cretan signed an order to unseal the affidavit used to obtain a search warrant used by police to seize computers, cellphones and other electronics belonging to Gizmodo editor Jason Chen. Some interesting pieces of news were discovered by going through the papers. For example, 21 year old Brian Hogan, the man who found the iPhone prototype in the bar, was turned in to the police by his roommate who was concerned that she could end up in trouble because Hogan had plugged the lost handset into her computer in an attempt to get it working again after the OS was remotely wiped by Apple. According to his roommate, Hogan received $8500-not the widely published figure of $5,000-from Gawker Media in exchange for the phone and was to receive a bonus if Apple officially introduced the model. Other info confirmed from the affidavit includes the news that Apple CEO Steve Jobs did indeed personally contact Gizmodo in an attempt to get the phone back. For its part, Apple claimed that publication of Gizmodo's story was "immensely damaging" to the company because iPhone buyers would stop buying the current version of the phone in anticipation of the next generation of the device.