Nintendo hacker jail sentence meant to “send a message” says court report

nintendo bowser behind bars jail headerNintendo

New documents surrounding the trial of the leader of a Nintendo Switch hacking and piracy team, Gary Bowser, reveal the judge wanted this case to “send a message” showing others that piracy is a serious offense.

Earlier this year, the supposed leader of the Nintendo Switch hacking group called Team Xecuter, Gary Bowser, was sentenced to 40 months in jail.

Bowser, along with his two accomplices Max Louarn and Yuanning Chen who are still at large, built and sold devices that were used to modify and play pirated games on the Switch.

Now, newly released court documents surrounding the proceedings gave insight that Judge Robert Lasnik’s decision was meant to “send a message” to other pirates and hacking groups.

Court documents give more insight into Gary Bowser jail sentence

Nintendo bowser in handcuffsGary Bowser allegedly lost 90 pounds while in prison due to a leg condition he was unable to get treatment for during Covid.

Transcripts of the court proceedings were first reported by Kotaku and Axios, providing insight into matters the general public was not privy to until now.

First, Anand Patel from the Department of Justice revealed Bowser made around “$320,000 over the course of seven years” as a part of Team Xecuter saying it provided “a very comfortable lifestyle.”

Additionally, Bowser’s lawyer found it pertinent to clarify Bowser’s involvement with Team Xecuter, saying “facts [got] embellished” and that Bowser was not actually a developer but more akin to a salesman for the team.

However, the much more interesting part of the transcript comes from Judge Lasnik, who provided insight into his verdict before sentencing Bowser. “…I always tell the jurors, ‘Your role is not to send a message. Your role is to decide guilt or innocence on the facts.’ But my role sometimes does entail sending a message.”

Judge Lasnik goes on to cite the Washington Mutual Bank disaster, the “biggest bank failure in American history” as reported by CNBC. Lasnik explained that no one was prosecuted or sent to jail for “what should have been serious criminal offenses.”

Lasnik equates this with Bowser’s case explaining that his sentence must “have an impact” that should provide a “general deterrence that this is not a joke, these are serious criminal offenses, with real victims and significant financial impacts on communities.”