Switch Hacking Group Leader Gary Bowser Agrees To Pay Nintendo $4.5 Million
A member of Team Xecuter, a piracy group known for exploiting vulnerabilities in video game consoles as well as marketing and selling Nintendo hacks, has agreed to waive his right to be tried before a jury and has pleaded guilty to two charges.
Gary Bowser, who was initially arrested last year following years of crimes against Nintendo and other console manufacturers, has been charged with ‘Conspiracy to Circumvent Technological Measures and to Traffic in Circumention Devices’, as well as ‘Trafficking in Circumvention Devices’. Both charges can result in a maximum of five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000 ($500,000 for the latter), and mandatory special assessment charges.
The case, which has been documented as impacting Nintendo, Sony, Sega, C64 and Atari, states that Team Xecuter’s work selling illegal hacking devices and pirated software has caused “more than $65 million and less than $150 million in losses to its victims”. It also notes that the “illegal enterprise” included a core group of individuals, including Max Louarn and Yuanning Chen, and used a variety of names such as Axiogame.com and Maxconsole.com.
As part of his guilty plea, Bowser must now pay Nintendo of America an apportioned sum of $4.5 million (this figure is Bowser’s to pay alone, not in conjunction with other defendants who will be charged separately). Bowser must also disclose all of his assets and agrees to an “abandonment of contraband”, meaning that he must consent to the destruction of a number of items which were seized from his residence in the Dominican Republic, including lots of hard drives, smartphones, modchips, a Nintendo Switch, and a SNES mini.