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21-year-old Nintendo Switch hacker pleads guilty

| Feb 6, 2020 | Federal Crimes |

Nintendo Switch fans in California may be interested to hear about a hacker who pleaded guilty to computer fraud with the popular video game system. The 21-year-old is believed to have gained access to Nintendo Switch developer information with a phishing scam in 2016. He also pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.

Investigators first became aware of the hacking after a 2017 FBI investigation into the man. He was warned by FBI agents to stop hacking and made aware of the consequences of further hacking. According to court documents, he continued to download confidential information from the Nintendo server through June 2019. He then purportedly leaked this information. He is also believed to have bragged about his hacking on several social media accounts.

When investigators confiscated the man’s computer as part of the investigation, they found a folder that was suspiciously titled. More than 1,000 videos and images of child pornography were found in the folder. After pleading guilty to both computer fraud and child pornography charges, the judge set the sentencing date in April 2020. The man has agreed to pay $260,000 in remediation costs to the game manufacturers. Prosecutors are believed to recommend three years in prison for the charges.

The increasing frequency of crimes such as computer fraud and child pornography has led lawmakers to enact strict consequences for committing such crimes. Long-term consequences may include being listed on the National Sex Offender Registry, hefty fines and prison time. The seriousness of the charges means that those who are accused need representation to ensure that they receive fair treatment during the process. In this case, prosecutors are only recommending three years in prison, which is less than what is typically recommended by the law. The man’s lawyer may have been able to negotiate these reduced charges as part of the plea agreement.

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