Switch hacker Gary Bowser pleads guilty and offers to pay Nintendo $ 4.5 million

One of the key members of a Switch hacking group that sold counter-chips has pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

Gary Bowser, a member of a group of hackers called Team-Xecuter, was arrested in September 2020 and appeared in court last month along with another member, Max Louarn (with a third member, Yuanning Chen, still at large).

Bowser and Louarn were charged with 11 crimes, including fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. If found guilty, the couple risks long prison sentences, where the two charges alone can be punished with up to 20 years in prison.

Instead of being convicted, Bowser pleaded guilty to two counts – bypassing trade and conspiracy to circumvent technological measures and to bypassing trade – and offered to pay Nintendo $ 4.5 million and help them find other members. of teams.

The prosecution has agreed to drop all other charges as a result, but the judge warned that Bowser, despite his charges, could still risk imprisonment for the two counts he pleaded guilty to, and each of them could be punished with up to 5 years in prison.

The request agreement explains that Bowser participated in Team-Xecuters activities – under this group name and others, including Axiogame.com and Maxconsole.com – from June 2013 until his arrest in September 2020.

The group created and sold a number of “illegal bypass devices” designed to allow users to play illegal ROMs on their consoles, including Switch, 3DS, PlayStation Mini and SNES Mini, the most notable being the SX Pro modchip and SX OS, which made it possible to play ROMs on the switch.

Bowser was put in charge of the Maxconsole.com website, which served as a central hub for device marketing and customer support. He also managed a site with ROM libraries that offered illegal copies of 13,630 games.

The request agreement also includes confirmation from Nintendo that when it released the newer model of the Nintendo Switch in 2018, it included “updated technical measures to prevent the console from being hacked by the SX Pro and SX OS”.

Switch hacker Gary Bowser pleads guilty and offers to pay Nintendo $ 4.5 million

It also confirmed that Switch Lite “was produced with the updated technological measures to address bypass devices such as SX Pro and SX OS,” but that the team instead began selling new devices called SX Core and SX Lite to continue hack every model.

Although Team-Xecuter itself has been the main focus of this particular case, Nintendo has also pursued third-party resellers who have sold the group’s products.

Tom Dilts Jr., the Ohio-based operator of the website Uberchips, sold Team-Xecuter products until Nintendo sued in May 2020. Dilts Jr. took the site offline and agreed to pay Nintendo $ 2 million in compensation.