Three men face criminal charge for Xbox tampering

By Derek Sooman on December 20, 2005, 3:13 PM
In the US, three men have been charged with selling modified Xbox consoles that could play pirated games. A complaint has been made against ACME Game Store co-owners Jason Jones, 34, and Jonathan Bryant, 44, as well as Pei "Patrick" Cai, 32, and alleges that Jones and Bryant sold Xbox systems that Cai modified with chips and hard drives that allowed users to play illegally pirated games. If convicted, they face a possible maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.

Jones and Bryant demonstrated the modified Xbox game consoles in their Melrose Avenue store. They charged from $225 to more than $500 for the modifications, depending on the extent of the modifications and the number of games preloaded onto the hard drive, according to a statement from prosecutors and the complaint affidavit obtained by Reuters.

During the investigation, undercover agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement paid $265 to have a modification chip, a hard drive and 77 pirated games installed on an Xbox, according to the criminal complaint.

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