US government recommends that hacker Gary Bowser spends 5 years in jail

Court is in session.

Image via Nintendo

Gary Bowser, a member of Team Xecuter, a video game piracy group that exploits vulnerabilities in console devices from Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, may spend 60 months in jail, according to the United States government.

Bowser has already pleaded guilty to his charges and has accepted a $4.5 million fine for his position within the piracy group, along with a separate $10 million fine from Nintendo. The suggested sentence of 60 months would be significantly higher than Bowser’s rebuttal of only 19 months.

In publicly available court documents, the U.S. government tried to justify the 60-month sentence, saying “the nature and circumstances of the offense, the history and characteristics of the defendant, and the need for the sentence to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment… to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct.”

Bowser’s defense attempted to downplay the severity of his actions, saying that the profits he made from his piracy activities were minimal and that Bowser was taking the brunt of the blame despite not being the only culpable member.

“This is a serious offense in which Nintendo suffered substantial monetary loss,” Bowser’s attorney said. “A sentence of 19 months for the least culpable of the three charged defendants, under the circumstances in which Mr. Bowser has actually served that sentence, is significant.”

Team Xecuter has made millions of dollars from widely produced mod chips. The sheer scale of the business is a key reason why the U.S. government eventually caught it. The judge will now decide exactly how long Bowser will remain behind bars.