iPhone Finder Identified: 'Regrets His Mistake'

The person who found and sold the Apple iPhone prototype has been identified as Brian J. Hogan, a 21 year old resident of Redwood City, California, according to Wired.com.

Hogan says he regrets not doing more to return the device to its owner, according to a statement provided by his attorney. Although he was paid by tech site Gizmodo, he believed the payment was for allowing the site exclusive access to review the phone. Gizmodo emphasized to him “that there was nothing wrong in sharing the phone with the tech press,” said attorney Jeffrey Bornstein.

The person who found the phone “is very definitely one of the people who is being looked at as a suspect in theft,” San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe told Wired.com Wednesday. “Assuming there’s ultimately a crime here. That’s what we’re still gauging, is this a crime, is it a theft?”

After finding the device “Brian opened the phone onto a Facebook page but then the phone shut down,” attorney Bornstein writes. “From that time on, the phone was inoperable the entire time Brian had it.”

Hogan didn’t know what it was until he removed the fake cover. A friend of his then offered to call Apple Care on Hogan’s behalf. After the friend's purported efforts to return the phone failed he offered several journalists an opportunity to look at the device.

Wired.com received an e-mail March 28 — not from Hogan — offering access to the iPhone, but did not follow up on the exchange after the tipster made a thinly veiled request for money.

“He regrets his mistake in not doing more to return the phone,” says Bornstein’s statement. “Even though he did obtain some compensation from Gizmodo, Brian thought that it was so that they could review the phone.”

“He also volunteers to assist his aunt and sister with fundraising for their work to provide medical care to orphans in Kenya,” his attorney says. “Brian is the kind of young man that any parent would be proud to have as their son.”

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