Nintendo Hacker’s Physical Health Reportedly At Risk Amidst Jail Sentence

Gary Bowser was sentenced to 40 months in prison earlier this year for his role as part of the Xecuter hacking group, which made illegal mod chips that allowed users to pirate software on Nintendo consoles (mostly the Switch). The hacker group made tens of millions of dollars over years of operation, which is why Nintendo asked for the maximum five-year sentence for Bowser in addition to the $14.5 million he'd already been ordered to pay in fines.

According to newly unveiled court transcripts obtained by Axios and Kotaku, we now know that U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik seemed more sympathetic to Nintendo than Bowser during the trial. At one point, Lasnik noted how popular media often portrays hackers as Robin Hood-like characters "sticking it to the man," and asked Nintendo lawyer Ajay Singh: “What else can we do to convince people that there’s no glory in this hacking/piracy?”

Singh replied, "There would be a large benefit to further education of the public," adding elsewhere that Bowser's case represented a "unique opportunity" to send a message to hackers everywhere.

Bowser's lawyer argued that his client was not one of Xecuter's leaders and a five-year sentence would have been excessive, especially considering he'd already spent 16 months in jail before his trial even began. Bowser's lawyer also noted his client's health conditions which made prison life especially difficult. Bowser suffers from a leg condition that has left him wheelchair bound, and has been unable to seek medical treatment due to his incarceration.

"It has been a very traumatic experience for me getting arrested, coming here, going through this," said Bowser when he took the stand at his trial. "This is my first time actually in a jail going through the court process and everything. And the amount of time I’ve spent already, 16 months in custody, a lot of that time — I spent six months, basically, locked up due to COVID. I went through all three of the COVID waves before there was even a vaccine available. I personally haven’t got the vaccine, and the reason, I am skeptical with my medical condition, how it will affect me, and I haven’t been able to actually have proper medical treatment because I haven’t been able to have a one-on-one with a doctor to see if the vaccine would be possible with my health conditions. When I first got arrested, I was 410 pounds. I had to use a wheelchair. I spent my life drinking, since I was age 15, after my mom died, and this is the longest time I have been sober in my life."

There are still several Team Xecuter members at large, although the US government has only been able to name Max Louarn and Yuanning Chen.

Source: Read Full Article