Three LA Men Busted for Xbox Mods

Three Los Angeles area men have been charged with copyright infringement after authorities discovered one was modifying original Xbox consoles to allow pirated games to run on them, then turning them around to be sold at the video game store of the other two.

A complaint was filed against the men in federal court charging the three with conspiracy. The U.S. attorney's office says the three were attempting to conspire to break the copyright protection of the console, and then profit from that action.

If convicted, the maximum sentence is up to five years in federal prison, according to U.S. law.

Jason Jones, 34, and Jonathan Bryant, 44, own the ACME Game Store in Los Angeles. Pei "Patrick" Cai, 32, would pick up the non-modified systems, make the necessary changes such as installing a special chip and larger hard drive, then return them to the store so that Jones and Bryant could sell the consoles, the complaint reads.

These modifications would allow users to copy games onto the hard drive for future playback.

The changes would cost the customer $225 to $500 depending on what modifications were made, the extent of those changes, and what games were loaded onto the system, says the complaint.

In the bust, an undercover agent paid $265 to have the mod chip, hard drive and 77 games installed on the system.

Even with the charges against them, Jones and Bryant say they will keep running ACME, a small store just outside of the West Hollywood section of Los Angeles. A hearing on the matter will occur in late January.

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