Unsuccessful Nintendo Counterfeiter Gets Almost Three Years in the SlammerS

A counterfeiter who made about £600,000 selling cartridges and discs loaded with pirated Nintendo games will do at least a year of hard time in the U.K. after being sentenced last Friday.

Justin Success-Brooks—turns out Success is not his middle name, just part of his hyphenated last name—got a 28-month prison sentence that will likely end up at 16 months if he behaves himself.

Lest you think this was just some small-time guy selling homebrewed cartridges, Success-Brooks was rather blatant about his operation and completely heedless of all warnings to stop, ignoring warnings from Nintendo and his nation's Border Agency. Prosecutors said he had a robust overseas clientele (China, primarily).

His lawyer showed about as much chutzpah in his arguments. Gary Venturi said most of Success-Brooks' customers were deliberately buying counterfeit games to save money. "If you read forums, for every person complaining about the sale of illegal games there are four or five complaining about the price of legitimate games," Venturi said, according to the Croydon Guardian. "He was taking a risk not on the understanding that what he was doing was criminal but on the understanding that he could be sued. It is theft at the heart of this, rather than complex fraud."

Tortured logic supported by gaming forum posts. I wonder if his appeal will be handled by Internet petition.

Croydon fraudster who sold counterfeit Nintendo games jailed [Guardian via Joystiq.]