Penalties For Buying Stolen Property: Fines To 1 Year In Jail


Earlier today, we told you police busted into Gizmodo editor Jason Chen’s home and seized his property, arguing that evidence in Chen’s house might contain information about a felony pertaining to a “stolen” iPhone prototype.

According to California state law, Chen could be convicted of buying stolen property “if he knew the goods were stolen at the time of receipt.” According to Gizmodo, the seller of the iPhone “asked around” at the bar where he found it. When he realised it was an Apple prototype, he made several phone calls to the company.

If Chen (or anyone else) were convicted of a felony for receiving stolen property or aiding a thief, he could be sent to state prison or county jail for up to 1 year, according to this explanation from Stephen G. Rodriguez, a Los Angeles criminal attorney. The prison term is based on the severity of the crime: the value of the stolen property and his prior criminal record. It is also based on how vindictive the judge wants to be on behalf of the DA (and Apple) “in the interests of justice.”

If Chen was charged with a misdemeanour, which is charged when the property stolen is worth under $400, he might have only had to pay a fine. But of course, we all know an iPhone prototype is much more valuable to Apple (and Gizmodo) than $400.

Read more on the Gizmodo case:

How it all went down in Chen’s home

All the stuff cops took from his home

The shield law isn’t going to save Gawker

Explaining the shield law that Gizmodo’s lawyer is using

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