A member of Team Xecuter, a hacking group known for exploiting vulnerabilities in video game consoles as well as marketing and selling Nintendo piracy, has agreed to waive his right to a jury trial and pleaded guilty to two counts.
Gary Bowser, who was initially arrested last year after years of crimes against Nintendo and other console manufacturers, has been charged with ‘conspiracy to circumvent technological measures and trafficking in circumvention devices’, as well as ‘trafficking in circumvention devices’ ‘. Both charges can result in a maximum of five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 ($500,000 for the latter), and a mandatory special assessment fee.
The case, which is documented as affecting Nintendo, Sony, Sega, C64 and Atari, notes that Team Xecuter’s work in selling illegal hacking hardware and pirated software has caused “more than $65 million in losses and less than $150 million in losses to its victims.” He also notes that the “unlawful project” includes a core group of individuals, including Max Warren and Yuaneng Chen, and has 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 a stipend of $4.5 million (this figure is paid by Bowser alone, not jointly with the other defendants who will be charged separately). Bowser must also disclose all of his assets and agree to “give up contraband,” which means he must agree to destroy a number of items seized from his Dominican Republic home, including lots of hard drives, smartphones, and modchips. and the Nintendo Switch and SNES mini.
The full version of Gary Bowser’s acknowledgment agreement can be found here (thanks to TorrentFreak).