Nintendo vs Team Xecuter Lawsuit: Gary “GaryOPA” Bowser pleads guilty, Max Louarn’s trial postponed
In the ongoing lawsuit between Nintendo and Team Xecuter, Torrentfreak report that Gary Bowser (more known on the scene as GaryOPA) has pleaded guilty to numerous charges brought by a US court, in particular “conspiracy to traffic in circumvention devices”. In other words, Gary has admitted knowingly participating in the sale of piracy devices, and the plea document gives specifics.
Team Xecuter lawsuit – a short summary
Team Xecuter was a prominent hacking group selling piracy devices for multiple consoles. They’re more recently known for their Nintendo Switch piracy modchips, SX Core and SX lite, but before that had sold other piracy devices, sometimes under different names, such as Gateway 3DS. They were advertising their products in particular through popular scene website MaxConsole (which was owned and maintained by GaryOPA) under the appearance of product reviews and homebrew support.
Two of their main members, Max Louarn and Gary Bowser, were arrested in 2020, and are being sued by Nintendo. A third member, Yuanning Chen, is mentioned in the lawsuit but wasn’t arrested. For all intents and purposes, the “SX” Switch hacking modchip production has stopped, except for third party clones that have been difficult to find, and expensive.
What’s next for GaryOPA
The final verdict is pending a decision from the judges, and in theory, pleading guilty is supposed to be taken into account and potentially reduce the sentence, but in total, GaryOPA faces up to 10 years in jail, a fine of up to $750’000, plus $4.5 million in restitution to Nintendo. In the Plea agreement, Nintendo officially claim Team-Xecuter, through its various schemes and names (including under the name Gateway) have caused a loss estimated between $65 million and $150 million.
There is no doubt that Team Xecuter members made a lot of cash with their business. But in the plea, Gary estimates he has made $320’000 in advertising revenue + monthly payments (he was paid $500 to $1000 per month for maintaining the site since his initial involvement in 2013) through the lifespan of maxconsole. That’s nowhere close to the $4.5 million he owes (plus, remember, up to $750’000 in fines).
Torrentfreak mention that this is one of two lawsuits that GaryOPA faces. This guilty plea is an agreement with the US court for criminal charges, but Gary is also being sued directly by Nintendo for the same events.
Where in the world is Max Louarn (continued)
The guilty plea paints Max ‘MAXiMiLiEN’ Louarn as the brains behind the Team Xecuter operations. Louarn’s involvement in the piracy scene dates back to the early 90’s in particular as a member of the Paradox Warez group.
Max Louarn is currently in France, himself facing a trial there. Although his trial was supposed to be held in August this year, French Newspaper Le Dauphiné Libéré mentionned that the trial has been postponed to January 10th, 2022, based on a request from his lawyer.
In early hearings this year, Louarn has claimed he is innocent and hasn’t been involved with the piracy scene for years.
More on Team Xecuter’s Lawsuit
We have quite extensively reported on this ongoing lawsuit, but the TorrentFreak article also gives a good summary of the latest status. You can check it out below. The plea agreement in itself is also an interesting read.