Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Rich Instagram Showoff Convicted, Jailed for Selling Stolen iPhone

A teen who made his fame on Instagram by bragging about his wealth has been slapped with criminal charges for selling a stolen iPhone.

Param Sharma, 18, more commonly known to his IG followers as "@itslavishbitch," was convicted on a misdemeanor charge of failing to make a reasonable effort to find the original owner of an iPhone that he sold on Craigslist. According to BuzzFeed News, Sharma's attorney claims his client is the first in the state to be convicted of this crime in California.

Did this Instagram rich boy finally get a taste of reality?

Picture Criminal Charges, No Filter

Sharma got his rep on Instagram by taunting some actual rich people (Soulja Boy, Rihanna, etc.) with photos of him covered in $100 bills or pouring sparkling water down the toilet. So it may seem odd that Sharma was arrested after selling a lost iPhone on Craigslist (it wasn't even the iPhone 6 Plus, if you were wondering).

But according to BuzzFeed News, Sharma was nabbed for theft after his buyer brought the iPhone to the police where "a pop-up notification indicated that it had been stolen." Police have used the "Find My iPhone" app offered on Apple's phones before to bust criminals, and the service allows a user who had a phone lost or stolen to report it as such. Once an iPhone is found and connects to cellular or WiFi signal, the lost or stolen phone will notify the finder of its status.

This boost in lost/stolen phone tech may be why Sharma got charged under California's theft law. The law states that a person who finds lost property under circumstances that allow him or her to find the owner must make "reasonable and just efforts to find the owner and to restore the property" before appropriating it. Since the iPhone in question clearly had the ability to notify Sharma of its prior owner and its lost/stolen status, the teen failed to make a reasonable effort to find the phone's true owner.

Jail Ain't So Lavish

Sharma has already been convicted, but his attorney felt the quality of his stay in jail was due to law enforcement's distaste for his client's Instagram presence. Apparently Sharma "accidentally" spent two weeks in a psych ward as the result of records mix-up, according to San Francisco's KGO-TV.

Illegal treatment? Possibly. But you don't make many real friends or followers as "@itslavishbitch."

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