Calif. Men Guilty of Xbox Modding

Two California men will plead guilty to charges that they participated in a conspiracy to modify Xbox consoles so they could play pirated video games. Jason Jones and Jonathan Bryant, owners of the ACME Game store in Los Angeles, were selling the consoles for anywhere from $225 to $500 USD.

The posh store counts among its customers Snoop Dogg and actor David Arquette. Pricing on the modded Xboxes depended on what changes was made to the console. However, Jones still denies the charges, and says the store would remain open, possibly moving to a bigger location.

"I don't know how to modify a [expletive] Xbox," he told Reuters from the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. He said he settled to get the case behind him, and said that his customers have been extremely supportive.

A third named in the December complaint against the company, Pei Cai, has failed to show up for any court appearances and is considered a fugitive.

Cai 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, according to prosecutors.

Jones is scheduled for sentencing on August 7. If sentenced to the maximum penalty, he could serve up to five years in prison and be responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and restitution.

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