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The United States Department of Justice has confirmed that two “leaders” of the piracy group Team Xecuter have been arrested and in custody facing charges that have been filed in the Seattle’s District Court.

In a federal indictment that has been unsealed today, Max Louarn, Yuanning Chen and Gary Bowser have been accused of developing and selling illegal devices that hacked consoles such as the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition to play pirated copies of games.

The developers exploited vulnerabilities in the consoles using circumvention devices, such as the Gateway 3DS, SX OS, SX Pro, SX Lite and the SX Core.

It is alleged that Team Xecuter create and supported online libraries of pirated games for their customers, requiring that a license was purchased to unlock the ability to play them on their custom firmware.

Each defendant has been charged with 11 felony counts – remaining to be presumed innocent until proven guilty – which include 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.

Alex Seedhouse

Alex Seedhouse

After starting out with a Yellow Game Boy and a copy of Donkey Kong Land, Alex once hid in his room to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time one Christmas. Now he shares his thoughts on Nintendo Insider, keeping track of everything to do with Nintendo.