Members Of Prominent Video Game Piracy Group Arrested

Members of the multinational video game piracy group Team Xecuter are facing multiple felony charges, the US Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Washington announced today. Max Louarn, Yuanning Chen, and Gary Bowser were all charged with 11 felony counts, including wire fraud, trafficking in circumvention devices, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

“These defendants were allegedly leaders of a notorious international criminal group that reaped illegal profits for years by pirating video game technology of US companies,” Brian Rabbitt, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said. “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.”

Team Xecuter, known for releasing homebrew software for various video game systems including the Nintendo Switch and 3DS, is comprised of more than a dozen members around the world. The indictment alleges the group “at times cloaked its illegal activity with a purported desire to support gaming enthusiasts who wanted to design their own video games for noncommercial use. However, the overwhelming demand and use for the enterprise’s devices was to play pirated video games.”

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