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Hacker Ordered To Pay Nintendo 25-30% Of His Salary For The Rest Of His Life After Being Released From Prison

Gary Bowser was arrested in October 2020 for his involvement with a hacking group called Team Xecuter,.

Gary Bowser

Due to a botched Nintendo hacking attempt, a man must pay Nintendo 25–30% of his monthly paycheck until the debt is settled.

Team Xecuter produced mod chips, cartridges, and jailbreaking software for gaming consoles, such as the Nintendo Switch.

To put it simply for those of us who aren't gamers, the team was releasing games for free, which clearly presented a significant challenge for businesses like Nintendo.

The following year, Bowser pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges after being detained for his involvement in the group. He acknowledged that he had sold tools that specifically compromised the portable Nintendo system.

The 53-year-old Canadian was ordered to pay $14.5 million in fines and receive a 40-month prison sentence in the US for his membership in the group.

Bowser was given early release in 2023, but even while it meant he was out of jail, it also meant he would now have to fork over a substantial sum of money every month to reimburse Nintendo.

In an interview with YouTuber Nick Moses, Bowser discussed his early release at the time, citing his age, health problems that restrict his movement, and his Canadian birthplace as contributing factors.



 

He claimed he was planning to go back to the Toronto region, but that didn't mean he could avoid paying Nintendo's debts just because he was leaving the country.

As of his release, Bowser owed Nintendo $10 million in restitution as well as a $4.5 million fine, and of that $14.5 million.

In April 2023, the hacker stated in his interview with Moses that he had only been able to pay out $175. No, that isn't a misprint. No further zeroes are intended.

When Bowser went back to Canada, he said he wouldn't have to "worry" about the $4.5 million fine since he had an agreement with Nintendo that allowed the company to deduct a portion of his salary from the $10 million he owed them.

The money that Bowser had given thus far came from $25 monthly installments deducted from his earnings from his work in the jail library. However, there was still a sizable amount that needed to be paid, and he might have to give the company money for the rest of his life.

He told Moses: "The agreement with them is that the maximum they can take is between 25 to 30 percent of your monthly gross income. And I have, like, six months before I have to start making payments."

Bowser had already stated that Team Xecuter made "tens of millions of dollars of proceeds," of which he only received a small portion.

Of the three members of the group, he was the only one to be tried and found guilty in the United States; the other, a citizen of China, was never detained, and the third could not be extradited to the United States.

Due to his involvement, Bowser was first accused with 11 felonies, including wire fraud, conspiracy to evade technology, trafficking in contravention devices, and conspiracy to launder money.

In an interview with The Guardian published in February 2024, Bowser said he'd secured housing and pays Nintendo 'what [he] can' but it 'won't be very much money that's for sure' given he's still finding a job and is relying on donations to help fund his medical care for his leg.

However, he resolved: "It could be a lot worse."