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Gaming

Nintendo Hacker Gary Bowser Released from Prison, Faces Lifelong Financial Battle

  • Craig Miller
  • |
  • April 19, 2023
  • |
  • 3 minute read
  • |
Nintendo Hacker Gary Bowser Released from Prison, Faces Lifelong Financial Battle
Key Takeaways
  • Gary Bowser, a member of the hacking group Team Xecuter, has been granted early release from prison after serving a portion of his 40-month sentence for allegedly jailbreaking and selling major game consoles, enabling pirated versions of popular games to be played.
  • Bowser's release from prison marks the beginning of a lifelong financial battle as he owes Nintendo $4.5 million in restitution, as per his original plea agreement, and an additional $10 million in a separate civil suit.
  • Despite his plans to seek employment in his area of expertise, Bowser's financial obligations to Nintendo are so substantial that he will likely never be able to fully repay the damages.
  • Bowser's case highlights the lengths companies like Nintendo go to protect their intellectual property, and the severe financial consequences that individuals who engage in piracy can face.

 

Sharing the same last name as the notorious antagonist from the Mario franchise, Gary Bowser, a member of the hacking group Team Xecuter, has been granted early release from prison after serving a portion of his 40-month sentence.

While Bowser prepares to return to his home in Canada, he still faces a lifetime of financial consequences due to the astronomical damages he owes Nintendo.

Background on Bowser’s Case

In 2020, Bowser, along with Max Louarn and Yuanning Chen, were indicted for allegedly jailbreaking and selling major game consoles, enabling pirated versions of popular games to be played.

The hacking group’s actions reportedly cost Nintendo and other console manufacturers around $65 million over several years.

Bowser, a Canadian national living in the Dominican Republic at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty to selling and creating console chips in 2021 and was sentenced in 2022.

Prosecutors called Bowser a “prominent leader” of the hacking team, while Bowser’s lawyers claimed he was just a small cog in Team Xecuter’s modding scene, earning only $500 to $1,000 a month.

Bowser’s Imminent Return to Canada

As reported by TorrentFreak, Bowser’s early release comes more than two years short of his original 40-month sentence.

In an interview with gaming streamer Nick Moses, Bowser revealed that he had been moved to the Tacoma Northwest Detention Center in Washington while awaiting his transport back to Toronto, Canada.

Bowser’s time in prison included work in the library and late-night shifts on suicide watch for other inmates.

He is expected to learn how the Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to handle his transport back to Canada soon.

Bowser, a Canadian national living in the Dominican Republic at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty to selling and creating console chips in 2021 and was sentenced in 2022.

Lifelong Financial Obligations to Nintendo

Once back in Canada, Bowser plans to file for medical coverage and welfare while seeking employment in his area of expertise.

However, his financial struggles are far from over. Bowser has to pay $4.5 million in restitution to Nintendo of America, as per his original plea agreement.

A separate civil suit mandates an additional $10 million payment to Nintendo.

So far, Bowser has only paid $175 to Nintendo from his meager salary working in the prison library.

He stated that the agreement would take nearly a quarter of his gross monthly income for the rest of his working life.

A Glimpse into Nintendo’s Pursuit of Justice

Bowser’s case provides a unique perspective on the lengths companies like Nintendo go to protect their intellectual property.

Despite the severity of the punishments handed out, the financial impact on Bowser is so substantial that he will likely never be able to fully repay the damages.

Craig Miller

Craig Miller

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