New court documents reveal the US government’s push for a 60-month (five-year) sentence for hacker Gary Bowser, who took part in the production and sale of piracy-enabling devices, despite Bowser pleading guilty, accepting a $4.5 million fine, and requesting just 19 months in jail.
Canadian hacker Gary Bowser was apprehended for his participation in the Team Xecuter hacking group, which generated tens of millions of dollars from producing and selling piracy-enabling mod chips for gaming consoles, primarily those made by Nintendo.
Despite Bowser’s lawyers arguing that he was the “least culpable and only apprehended defendant from this indictment,” the US government said that a 60-month sentence is appropriate given “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.”
The government’s statement went on to request that after serving his five-year sentence, Bowser should be supervised for an additional three years.
While admitting Bowser’s transgression, his lawyers have claimed that he was being given the brunt of the blame and that the case against him was too harsh. His legal defense claims that Bowser didn’t even profit as much as the other participants of the group, claiming he made an estimated $320,000 over seven years, while others made considerably more and lived lavish lifestyles abroad.
“This is a serious offense in which Nintendo suffered substantial monetary loss,” Bowser’s legal defense 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.”
The US government however, remains adamant that Bowser must face a stricter punishment, given the scale and scope of the operation he was part of.
“This case is unlike any other criminal case known to the government,” the US government said. “Mr. Bowser deserves a higher sentence... given the size and breadth of the Team Xecuter conspiracy, which lasted for years and included multiple types of circumvention devices.”
It is now up to a judge to decide Bowser’s final verdict, but meanwhile, Bowser has also accepted a stunning $10 million fine in Nintendo’s civil lawsuit against him.