U.S. Federal Prosecutors Drop Xbox Modder Case

Federal attorneys in the first ever case on illegally modded game consoles dropped their prosecution against Matthew Crippen, after one of its witnesses introduced undisclosed information in his testimony.
U.S. federal attorneys in the first-ever case on illegally modded game consoles dropped their prosecution against Matthew Crippen today after one of its witnesses introduced previously undisclosed information in his testimony. The case was dismissed after new claims by witness Tony Rosario, an ESA investigator who had paid Crippen to install a mod chip on an Xbox 360. Rosario claimed today that he saw Crippen put a pirated game into a modded console, which he failed to mention in his testimony from Wednesday, reports Wired's Threat Level blog. This new testimony would have proven that Crippen knowingly violated copyright law. But the information was nowhere to be found in written reports, and the defense objected to the testimony on the grounds that the prosecution had not disclosed this information until today. The dismissal follows the sudden break for recess yesterday, when U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez berated the prosecution for legal and technical issues regarding its argument. Matthew Crippen was charged with two counts of violating the Digital Millenium Copywright Act, and upon conviction, would have faced up to 10 years in prison. Crippen told Wired he plans to pursue a career as a high school teacher, which would have been impossible had he been convicted of a felony in this case.

Latest Jobs

Pocketwatch Games

Senior Gameplay Engineer


Cambridge, Massachusetts
Jr. Programmer

Gameloft Australia

Brisbane, Australia
Creative Director

Sucker Punch Productions

Bellevue, Washington
Senior Systems Designer
More Jobs   


Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter


Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Follow us


Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more