Video Game Pirates in Custody


Video Game Pirates in Custody

It could be game over for two alleged leaders of a notorious video game piracy group that ripped off technology developed by American companies. 

Max Louarn and Gary Bowser are accused of leading an international criminal enterprise that created and sold illegal devices that hacked popular video game consoles so they could be used to play unauthorized, or pirated, copies of authentic gaming titles.

The Team Xecuter piracy group targeted the Nintendo Switch, the Nintendo 3DS, the Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition, the Sony PlayStation Classic, and the Microsoft Xbox. 

“Imagine if something you invented was stolen from you and then marketed and sold to customers around the world. That is exactly what Team Xecuter was doing,” said Special Agent in Charge Raymond Duda of the FBI’s Seattle Field Office.  

From approximately June 2013 to August 2020 the group developed devices that included the Gateway 3DS, the Stargate, the TrueBlue Mini, the Classic2Magic, and the SX line of devices, which included the SX OS, the SX Pro, the SX Lite, and the SX Core. 

The circumvention devices were disguised as tech that could be used by gaming enthusiasts to develop their own games for noncommercial use.

Team Xecuter established an extensive library of illegal video games, requiring customers who wanted to play the titles to purchase a “license” to unlock the full features of the group's custom firmware, the SX OS.

Frenchman Louarn was arrested abroad in September in connection with the charges. The United States Department of Justice is currently seeking the extradition of the 48-year-old resident of Avignon to the US to stand trial. 

Canadian-born Bowser, aged 51, was arrested and deported to the United States from the Dominican Republic. 

A federal indictment unsealed in US District Court in Seattle on Friday charges each defendant with 11 felony counts, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to circumvent technological measures and to traffic in circumvention devices, trafficking in circumvention devices, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. 

“These arrests show that the department will hold accountable hackers who seek to commandeer and exploit the intellectual property of American companies for financial gain, no matter where they may be located,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Rabbitt.

It could be game over for two alleged leaders of a notorious video game piracy group that ripped off technology developed by American companies. 

Max Louarn and Gary Bowser are accused of leading an international criminal enterprise that created and sold illegal devices that hacked popular video game consoles so they could be used to play unauthorized, or pirated copies of authentic gaming titles.

The Team Xecuter piracy group targeted the Nintendo Switch, the Nintendo 3DS, the Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition, the Sony PlayStation Classic, and the Microsoft Xbox. 

“Imagine if something you invented was stolen from you and then marketed and sold to customers around the world. That is exactly what Team Xecuter was doing,” said special agent in charge Raymond Duda of the FBI’s Seattle Field Office.  

From approximately June 2013 to August 2020 the group developed devices that included the Gateway 3DS, the Stargate, the TrueBlue Mini, the Classic2Magic, and the SX line of devices that included the SX OS, the SX Pro, the SX Lite, and the SX Core. 

The circumvention devices were disguised as tech that could be used by gaming enthusiasts to develop their own games for noncommercial use.

Team Xecuter established an extensive library of illegal video games, requiring customers who wanted to play the titles to purchase a “license” to unlock the full features of the group's custom firmware, the SX OS.

Frenchman Louarn was arrested abroad in September in connection with the charges. The United States Department of Justice is currently seeking the extradition of the 48-year-old resident of Avignon to the US to stand trial. 

Canadian-born Bowser, aged 51, was arrested and deported to the United States from the Dominican Republic. 

A federal indictment unsealed in US District Court in Seattle on Friday charges each defendant with 11 felony counts, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to circumvent technological measures and to traffic in circumvention devices, trafficking in circumvention devices, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. 

“These arrests show that the department will hold accountable hackers who seek to commandeer and exploit the intellectual property of American companies for financial gain, no matter where they may be located,” said acting assistant attorney general Brian Rabbitt.

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