Nintendo hacking team promoter must pay at least 25% of salary for rest of his life

A former member of gaming console jailbreaking group Team Xecuter will likely have to pay a minimum of a quarter of his monthly salary to Nintendo for the rest of his life, TorrentFreak reports.

53-year-old Canadian Gary Bowser was arrested in the Dominican Republic in 2020 and extradited to the US, where he was sentenced to 40 months in prison after admitting guilt in February 2022.

The term was significantly shorter than the government had sought, but Bowser, whose surname improbably matches that of the main Super Mario villain, played a relatively small part in the operation.

He effectively acted as a salesperson, operating a website that reviewed Team Xecuter’s hardware and hacking tools, for which he was paid between $500 to $1,000 per month.

Team Xectuer was known for jailbreaking gaming consoles and making mod chips that allowed people to play illegitimate copies of games.

It was controversial among console hackers because it sold its hacking tools for profit, whereas the community generally believes in open-sourcing software intended to allow for backward compatibility with older games.

Bowser was held in the Federal Detention Centre SeaTac in Seattle for just over a year until 28 March 2023, when he was released.

He is now in processing at another detention centre, after which he will be deported to Canada. However, his troubles won’t stop there.

In a recent video interview on NickMoses05’s gaming podcast, Bowser explained he must pay back $14.5 million in restitution, including $10 million in damages to Nintendo, if he secures a stable income in Canada.

“The agreement with them is that the maximum they can take is 25-30% of your gross monthly income,” Bowser said.

“And I have up to six months before I have to start making payments,” Bowser notes.

He has already paid off a minute fraction of the debt through seven monthly $25 repayments thanks to earning a small salary in prison.

According to Talent.com, the current average salary in Canada is CA$70,000 per year, or about CA$5,833 per month. That is about US$4,329.

The maximum repayment of 30% of such a salary works out to about $1,299. That would only amount to $10 million after 7,699 repayments.

Meanwhile, the two individuals suspected to be the real masterminds of the operation — French and Chinese nationals Max Louarn and Yanning Chen — have not faced prosecution.

Louarn was arrested in Tanzania but avoided extradition and was even interviewed by Le Monde at his home in Avignon.

He expressed no regret at stealing from companies that make billions. Chen is still at large.


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Nintendo hacking team promoter must pay at least 25% of salary for rest of his life