In the wake of Nintendo hacker Gary Bowser being sentenced to three years in jail for his contribution to Team Xecuter's hacking efforts, the mastermind behind the whole operation remains seemingly defiant and unapologetic.
Max Louarn, alleged leader of Team Xecuter, has a long history with hacking and apparently sees himself as more of a rebel than the proven criminal others would rather label him as. He recently spoke with publication Le Monde from the city of Avignon on his exploits and played down his apparent criminal status, citing the amount of money that companies like Nintendo makes:
"I was't going to end up as an engineer earning €5k a month when I realized, at 18, that hacking was not just fun, but that there was a way to make a lot of money. Stealing from companies that make billions, what do I care?"
Currently living in a comfortable apartment with his Russian ex-model girlfriend while his former colleague Gary Bowser spends time in jail, Louarn seemed relatively unconcerned with Nintendo's eagerness to end his exploits:
"They hate me. I bet that in Tokyo, they posted my picture in an office. We’ve always been pro-liberty, that’s our mindset: to do what we want with the machines and for everyone to have access to them.”
It's not as if Louarn has spent his entire life successfully evading the law, either. Back in 1993, he fled to Spain off the back of an arrest for piracy (again related to Nintendo) but was soon behind bars after being invited to a fake party back in the United States. Upon arrival, he was greeted by 15 armed agents and ultimately sentenced to five years and eight months after pleading guilty. He was released in 1999.
Louarn has staunchly denied involvement with Team Xecuter, despite his name being specifically mentioned in a plea deal by Gary Bowser. Louarn believes Bowser made such claims in an attempt to reduce his jail sentence:
“He pleaded guilty to things he didn’t do in order to escape a life sentence. That’s American justice! The press showed that Gary Browser was living poorly in a tin shack in the Dominican Republic, while Team Xecuter, they are all millionaires.”
Despite his claims of innocence, Louarn isn't quite prepared to defend his case in a court of law. After spending time in jail back in the '90s, he states that certain circumstances have changed and that a second jail sentence would be far more impactful to his life now:
“Now [serving time in prison] would be hard because I take care of my father. I have a 16-year-old daughter, and soon a second child."
Louarn's determination to avoid jail is obvious after his most recent arrest while on holiday in Tanzania. He reportedly managed to argue his way out of prison and onto a private jet sent by a friend before the FBI could catch up to him.