We recently posted an article about a man called Gary Bowser and how he was sentenced to over 3 years in prison for elevon felony counts including money laundering and wire fraud as well as ordered to pay a $14.5 million fine in restitution to Nintendo. In a related civil lawsuit that ended in December 2021, a court also ordered Bowser to pay a further $10 million. WAH WAH WAH!
So, Gary Bowser is expected to pay back a total of almost $25 million for his role in running numerous websites and developing devices for an organisation known as Team Xecutor which allows people to run pirated games on Nintendo Switch consoles.
It appears Nintendo are trying to make an example out of Bowser, to show people they mean business when it comes to pirating their games and their consoles.
Bowser will be expected to pay the money owed over a long period of time with the courts taking a percentage out of his eventual pay check each month.
The U.S Department of Justice charged Gary Bowser along with Max Louarn (the leader of Xecutor by recruiting investors, according to court records) in 2020. The DOJ also charged a person by the name of Yuanning Chen, who worked with Louarn to work with hackers who had found exploits in games consoles.
Prosecutors described Xecutor as “one of the most prolific video game hacking groups,” and stated that Bowser had worked on a website called ‘rom-bank.com’ which held over 10,000 illegal copies of video games for users to download.
Bowser’s two lawyers, Michael Filipovic and Christopher Sanders, stated that “Mr. Bowser was used by Max Louarn,” and also stated that Bowser did not make much money from what he was doing as well as him living a simple life.
“Unlike other unindicted conspirators, [Bowser] was not part of Louarn’s social life, which included lavish vacations and parties,” “Unlike Louarn’s lifestyle, Mr. Bowser lived a modest life in a modest apartment.” Images of Bowser’s apartment were showed in court, showing a small, run-down apartment in the Dominican Republic.
The images show a sparse environment with green walls, a fridge, cabinets in a room next to a desk with a computer. In the kitchen is a stove, oven, a large bottle for water and a blue sofa with a few cushions. This all adds to the fact that Bowser made little money from from Xecutor.
As apposed to Louarn’s lavish lifestyle that see’s him in various places all over the world, in luxurious hotels, according to posts from his Facebook profile. Louarn has been contacted by numerous outlets but has declined to comment, as of yet.
Xecutor was said to have generated millions of dollars in profits although Bowser was only paid $500-$1000 a month over the span of seven years. Not a lot of money at all, barely a full-time wage.
“Mr. Bowser was essentially a paid employee of Max Louarn, with the added benefit of keeping modest ad income from the website,” “Mr. Bowser did not have a proprietary role in the enterprise, and he did not have control over the manufacture of the circumvention devices. The amount of pay he received, and the exposure he had to arrest and prosecution, compared to Chen and Louarn, speaks loudly to the wide disparity in culpability.”
Prior to joining Xecutor, Bowser had created a successful business that made interactive kiosks for the government in Toronto. He was the victim of domestic violence from multiple partners and another girlfriend of his was cruelly murdered. His brother died in a plane crash and his mother passed away when he was 15, the court records show.
Nintendo had this to say:
“Nintendo appreciates the hard work and tireless efforts of federal prosecutors and law enforcement agencies to curb illegal activities on a global scale that cause serious harm to Nintendo and the video game industry,” “In particular, Nintendo would like to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) of the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section and the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs for their significant contribution and assistance,”