Nintendo hacker Gary Bowser sentenced to 40 months in prison

After being arrested in 2020, Bowser has now been sentenced and will spend more than 3-years in prison.

Image via Nintendo

Gary Bowser, who was arrested more than a year ago for his involvement in a piracy group known for its exploitation of various companies’ video game console devices, including Nintendo, has been sentenced to 40 months in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today.

Despite the attempts of Bowser’s defense team to downplay his actions, such as categorizing his profits from the crimes as “minimal,” the U.S. Department of Justice was evidently not satisfied with his legal team’s suggestion of a 19-month sentence.

“As the voice and public face of these sophisticated cybercriminals for years, Mr. Bowser bears responsibility for stealing millions of dollars in profit and victim losses from the intellectual property of others,” FBI Special Agent Donald Voiret said in a statement. “He also wasted the efforts of legitimate companies as they attempted to build protections for their products.”

The U.S. government had suggested Bowser be sentenced to five years in prison, in addition to the two fines totaling nearly $15 million Bowser has agreed to pay to Nintendo. U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said the “piracy scheme” of Team Xecuter, the group of which Bowser was a part, had caused more than $65 million to video game companies.

Bowser was arrested and deported from the Dominican Republic in 2020 and pled guilty to the charges of Conspiracy to Circumvent Technological Measures and to Traffic in Circumvention Devices and Trafficking in Circumvention Devices in October 2021.

The 52-year-old Canadian man had been allegedly producing and distributing hacked console devices that would allow users to play pirated games. These included Nintendo’s range of consoles along with PlayStation’s classic console and Microsofts Xbox.

Bowser is not the only member of Team Xecuter to be charged; Max Louarn of France and Yuanning Chen of China were also included in the indictment, but neither are in custody.