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A U.S. court has sentenced Gary W. Bowser, the leader of the Team Xecutor hacking group, to 40 months in jail. Bowser was arrested in 2020 for selling hacking software that allowed users to play pirated Switch games. He’d also previously been ordered to pay over $14 million in fines.

Nintendo thanked the various legal entities involved in apprehending Bowser, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The U.S. government previously sought a 60-month sentence for Bowser, according to an court document.

Bowser was originally charged with 11 felony counts, but pled guilty to two of them: “Conspiracy to Circumvent Technological Measures and to Traffic in Circumvention Devices” and “Trafficking in Circumvention Devices.” In addition to the Switch, the hacking group targeted the 3DS, the Xbox, the PSOne Classic, and the NES Classic.

He confessed to working with Team Xecutor from 2013 to 2020. During that time they ran illegal Rom websites and “created and sold console-hacking software and devices used to play pirated Nintendo Switch games,” according to Nintendo. According to the court documents, Nintendo claims that it lost $65 million thanks to the group’s activities.


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Nintendo has always looked askance at those who in any way subvert the legal use of its products. It won a lawsuit against RomUniverse last year and was awarded $2.1 million in damages. The Rom-hosting site was ordered to destroy all illegal Roms after Nintendo filed an injunction against owner Matthew Storman. More recently, it’s sent out several copyright strikes against YouTuber GilvaSunner for their Nintendo soundtrack videos. GilvaSunner announced they were shutting their channel down following these strikes.

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