Affidavit relating to stolen iPhone released – The full story behind the saga, Brian Lam’s email to Steve Jobs, and a TON more

Fri, May 14, 2010

Featured, Legal, News

Hot damn! There’s a lot of Apple news going on for a lazy Friday afternoon.

You know the affidavit that triggered the search warrant on Gizmodo editor Jason Chen’s abode? Well as we told you earlier, it was unsealed earlier today by San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Clifford V. Cretan.

Only thing is, they released the wrong set of documents.

CNBC’s Jim Goldman writes:

In a stunning twist to the ongoing drama surrounding the Apple iPhone prototype, the San Mateo County Court unsealed the wrong documents earlier today connected to this case.

An attorney representing several media outlets had petitioned the court to release the search warrant connected to blogger Jason Chen and the seizure of his home computers and other technology.

Instead, court authorities released the search warrant connected to suspect Brian Hogan and not the document related to Chen.


But their mistake is our reward because there’s a boatload of juicy information to dissect. Here’s a rundown.

Gray Powell’s real name is Robert Powell. Hmm, good to know.

But onto the meat.

As you might already know, the person who sold the iPhone to Gizmodo is Brian Hogan. Hogan lives with 2 roomates, one named Katherine Martinson and the other named Thomas Warner. Upon coming home from the Gourmet Haus Staudt restaurant, Hogan told Martinson that while he was at the bar, a drunk dude came up to him and gave him an iPhone, thinking it belonged to him.

While at home, Hogan soon discovered that the device wasn’t an ordinary iPhone. He then told Martinson that that the owner of the device was Gray Powell, a fact he deduced by checking the iPhone’s Facebook app. Martinson and Hogan next searched for Powell on the Internet where they descended upon his Linked In profile which confirmed that he was an Apple engineer.

Speaking to police, Martinson said that Hogan is “technically knowledable” and that the devices’s features, such as the front facing camera, left no doubt in Hogan’s mind that this was a prototype iPhone.

Hogan knew he was sitting on a goldmine, and wasted no time contacting Gizmodo, Engadget, and PC World in an attempt to drive up the price for his little nugget.

Within 10 days of receiving the next-gen iPhone, Hogan made contact with Gizmodo editor Jason Chen who offered him 10 grand for the phone. Chen and Hogan reportedly met together on 3 separate occasions.

Martinson and a few other friends apparently tried to convince Hogan not to sell the iPhone, arguing that doing so would hurt the career of Gray Powell. According to the affidavit, Powell responded, “Sucks for him. He lost his phone. Shouldn’t have lost his phone.”

And believe it or not, there’s more. A lot more.

Flash forward a few days and Hogan was showing Martinson a camera box with $8,500 cash, in $100 denominations no less. Edit: Look at Gizmodo, rollin’ hard.

Hogan told Martinson that he would receive an additional cash bonus from Gizmodo in July upon Apple introducing a new iPhone model.

Martinson also stated to authorities that she believes Hogan took photos of the iPhone with a SLR camera prior to this Gizmodo sale so that he could subsequently sell those photos to other Internet publications.

And now we come Gray Powell’s side of the story.

Powell told investigators that he left work on that fateful Friday evening at 8:30 PM (Apple sure puts those young Apple engineers to work). He went home, picked up his Uncle, and headed over to the bar at 9PM where he stayed for approximately 2 hours. The last memory Powell had of his iPhone was that it was sitting in a bag that he had placed by his feet. He recalled that the bag, at one point, was knocked over, and it’s possible, Powell says, that the iPhone may have fallen out of the bag and onto the bar room floor.

Notably, Powell says it was unlikely the next-gen iPhone was stolen from his bag.

When Hogan was made aware of the investigation, he and Warner began removing incriminating evidence from their apartment. When a detective showed up at Hogan’s father’s house (where Brian was hiding out with his girlfriend), Hogan said he removed the evidence in order to “protect it.”

All in all, Hogan removed his computer, a thumb drive, a flash card, and the Apple iPhone prototype stickers from his apartment.

And where did he take em’?

Brace yourself. The computer (an HP, mind you) was safely stowed away at the Sequoia Christian Church. Meanwhile, the thumb drive and flash card were found in a bush

As for the prototype stickers, Hogan’s roomate Warner said that he lost them. And just when you thought things couldn’t get more out of control, the stickers were soon found in a Gas Station parking lot.

Update: This post was getting long, so we posted Brian Lam’s pathetic email to Steve Jobs over here.


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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Me Says:

    And where is “Brian Lam’s email to Steve Jobs”?

  2. Scott B. Says:

    See the Link that say’s “over Here”

    More Help

  3. Dakota Says:

    They sound very much like the incompetent criminals in the movie “Fargo.”

  4. AndrewK Says:

    It’s hilarious that Gizmodo replaces professionalism with the fact that they think they’re so god damn cool.

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