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Federal prosecutors say a prominent member of the notorious Team Xecuter hacking group—known for the “SX OS” line of Switch hacking devices—should serve 60 months in prison after pleading guilty to piracy-related charges in November.
The significant sentence for Gary “GaryOPA” Bowser “would send a message that there are consequences for participating in a sustained effort to undermine the video game industry,” according to prosecutors. But Bowser’s defense is arguing for a shorter 19-month sentence that reflects the fact that he “was not the leader, was not in control of the [TeamXecuter] enterprise, and was not the manufacturer of the devices.”
Bowser—a 52-year-old Canadian citizen who was arrested in the Dominican Republic and deported to the US in 2020—was the “public voice and principal salesperson” for Team Xecuter, according to federal prosecutors, promoting Switch hacking devices through sites such as maxconsole.com and illegal ROM downloads through sites like rom-bank.com. While Team Xecuter “attempted to hide its illegal activity under the homebrew enthusiast umbrella,” Bowser admitted in his November plea that the “predominant and primary design of the enterprise’s products was to allow purchasers to play pirated ROMs.”
Bowser has already agreed to pay penalties of $4.5 million to Nintendo in his criminal plea as well as