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Nintendo hacker Gary Bowser will be in debt to the company for the rest of his life

Now released from jail.

Nintendo hacker Gary Bowser has been freed from prison, but will remain in debt to the company for the rest of his life.

In February 2022, Bowser was sentenced to 40 months in prison for the distribution and sale of piracy-enabling devices. He pleaded guilty and agreed to a $4.5m fine, plus an additional $10m fine to settle Nintendo's own civil lawsuit against him.

Speaking to podcaster Nick Moses (via Kotaku), Bowser explained that Nintendo is now able to recoup 25-30 percent of his personal income for the rest of his working life.

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This process has already begun, with Nintendo taking back $175 from Bowser's prison job while incarcerated at the SeaTac Federal Detention Center in Washington. It seems impossible he'll ever be able to pay the total back in full.

Still, due to time served and good behaviour, Bowser is now free to return home to Canada.

Prior to his arrest, Bowser had worked as part of the hacking group Team Xecuter as the company's "salesman", reportedly making $320k over seven years - significantly less than the fine he is now required to pay.

However, Nintendo's lawyers stated Team Xecutor had caused the company "damages greater than $65m" due to spending time updating hardware to deter piracy.

Indeed, in June last year it was reported Nintendo's lawyers and US district judge Robert Lasnik discussed Bowser's jail time as a means to set an example to deter future hackers, despite risks to Bowser's physical health.

"I always tell the jurors, 'Your role is not to send a message. Your role is to decide guilt or innocence on the facts'," Judge Lasnik said. "But my role sometimes does entail sending a message."

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