Charges filed in lost iPhone 4 case; Gizmodo editors cleared

Prosecutors in California filed charges today against an alleged thief who infamously handed a lost iPhone 4 prototype to reporters at Gawker Media.

Brian Hogan, 22, of San Mateo county, was charged with misdemeanor theft. He faces up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Also charged was Sage Robert Wallower, 28, suspected of organizing the handover, which precipitated wall-to-wall coverage of the device at Gawker's gadget blog, Gizmodo.

The early iPhone 4, its distinctive form masked by a heavy-duty protector, was left in a Redwood City beer garden by Robert Gray Powell, a 28-year-old engineer at Apple. Gizmodo reportedly paid $5,000 payment for the handset, only returning it to Apple days later.

Gizmodo itself reports being off the hook, despite an editor's house being searched. Perhaps tech pundits are not legal experts after all! [via Ars Technica and Gizmodo]