Croydon fraudster who sold counterfeit Nintendo games jailed

Croydon Guardian: Justin Success-Brooks Justin Success-Brooks

A video game fraudster who cheated Nintendo out of a potential £12 million in a "complex and sophisticated operation" has been jailed for 32 months.

Justin Success-Brooks, 41, pocketed £600,000 in just two years by selling counterfeit computer games through his 18 homemade websites.

Success-Brooks, of Foxley Lane, Purley, sold thousands of games cartridges for Nintendo's DS and DSi handheld consoles including a "very substantial" trade with buyers in China, Croydon Crown Court was told.

He was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty to seven counts of fraud last month.

The father-of-one offered bundles of counterfeit games, fitted with microchips that bypassed the consoles' security systems, at a fraction of the price they would have cost from legitimate retailers.

In one instance he sold 75 children's games worth a total of £1,368 for £39.95.

He ignored cease-and-desist letters from from the games company and the UK Border Agency and even launched new websites under different names after police seized his stock.

Francesca Levett, prosecuting, said Success-Brooks had perpetrated an "extensive and skilfully planned fraud" that had cheated Nintendo, genuine retailers and shoppers who thought they were buying legitimate games.

In one instance, she said, a six-year-old had been deprived of a Christmas present because their parent had realised the cartridge was counterfeit and did not want to be involved in criminality.

Ms Levett added: "This was very much a proper operation. This is not like someone selling games at a market. Nintendo may be big enough to weather the storm but retailers are not.

She added: "The damage that this has done to the reputation of online retailers is untold and incalculable."

Gary Venturi, defendiong Mr Brooks, said that the majority of Success-Brooks's customers had not been "hoodwinked" and were deliberately buying counterfeit games to save money.

He said: "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."

Mr Success-Brooks's crime was no worse than advertising counterfeit games in a newspaper, Mr Venturi argued.

He added: "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."

But recorder Mark West rejected the notion that Mr Success-Brooks, who pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud last month, had not realised that what he was doing was illegal.

He said: "Between early 2009 and June 2011 you carried out a complex and sophisticated operation involving the use of trademarks and the sale of counterfeit games. You knew what you were doing was illegal and used various names and various addresses."

He sentenced Mr Success-Brooks to a total of 32 months in jail and told him to expect to serve half of that time.

Comments (3)

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7:44am Mon 12 Nov 12

lordofzombies says...

its a shame, if you wait a month these games generally come down in price, that is unless there a main game such as mario bros, there prices seem to stay high everywhere, i cant find new super mario brothers for under 20 quid, and its over 2 years old!
its a shame, if you wait a month these games generally come down in price, that is unless there a main game such as mario bros, there prices seem to stay high everywhere, i cant find new super mario brothers for under 20 quid, and its over 2 years old! lordofzombies

9:41am Mon 12 Nov 12

EverardEdbutt says...

lordofzombies wrote:
its a shame, if you wait a month these games generally come down in price, that is unless there a main game such as mario bros, there prices seem to stay high everywhere, i cant find new super mario brothers for under 20 quid, and its over 2 years old!
Which is exactly why I use an R4i card. I have paid for my DSi, it is mine and I can do with it what I like.
If I want my DS to act as an emulator to play older games ie NES GBA N64 then I should be able to.
Plus I own all the original games on DS format so if I want to protect them by using a NDS file on a R4i card then I will do so.
An R4i card costs less then £20 and can hold all my DSi titles in one handy, convenient place then I will do so. My R4i card holds 50 games in one place, imagine how much space the DS cartridges would take up otherwise.
Just like when I buy a Bluray I get a digital copy to use on whatever device I like, the same should happen with computer games.
Will Nintendo replace my £35 purchase after the DS game cartridge connectors wear out ofter my daughter has used it for 6 months? Ofcourse they wont.

I use custom firmware on my television (I wrote it myself)

I use a stripped down version of windows on my PC (Tore out all the bloatware that Microsoft like so much) and now have a 12 second boot time on a 6 year old PC
I helped develop the Woods firmware that is often used on the DS Flashcarts.

I did so to use my own Homebrew channels and browser on my DS and play USER DEVELOPED games.

I dont advocate piracy but in the digital age we should all be able to back up our computer based purchases without fear of reprisals.

It is interesting to note that people who download pirated films also spend the most money pursuing these activities.

http://blogs.indepen
dent.co.uk/2012/10/2
5/keith-lemon-the-fi
lm-or-the-imposter-w
hich-one-would-you-p
ay-to-watch/

There is nothing worse then spending 50 notes on the latest xbox360 or PS3 game to discover it is a steaming pile of excrement with a pretty picture on the box.

Developers should issue 1 or 2 level demo's to negate this.
It used to work back in the day when we all got demo's of the front covers of Playstation magazine or similar.
I know my kids have many games they would never have looked at twice otherwise.
Until manufacturers allow the end consumer to take complete ownership of their devices this will continue!
Game developers need to take a leaf out of Rovio's book, they offer a free ad based version of all the Angry Bird titles and they have a very tidy profit margin
http://www.engadget.
com/2012/05/07/rovio
-2011-financials/
Go and join Croydon freegle. I have GIVEN many games away on there including Super Mario Bros
(which is also available in cash convertors for the princely sum of £6)
[quote][p][bold]lordofzombies[/bold] wrote: its a shame, if you wait a month these games generally come down in price, that is unless there a main game such as mario bros, there prices seem to stay high everywhere, i cant find new super mario brothers for under 20 quid, and its over 2 years old![/p][/quote]Which is exactly why I use an R4i card. I have paid for my DSi, it is mine and I can do with it what I like. If I want my DS to act as an emulator to play older games ie NES GBA N64 then I should be able to. Plus I own all the original games on DS format so if I want to protect them by using a NDS file on a R4i card then I will do so. An R4i card costs less then £20 and can hold all my DSi titles in one handy, convenient place then I will do so. My R4i card holds 50 games in one place, imagine how much space the DS cartridges would take up otherwise. Just like when I buy a Bluray I get a digital copy to use on whatever device I like, the same should happen with computer games. Will Nintendo replace my £35 purchase after the DS game cartridge connectors wear out ofter my daughter has used it for 6 months? Ofcourse they wont. I use custom firmware on my television (I wrote it myself) I use a stripped down version of windows on my PC (Tore out all the bloatware that Microsoft like so much) and now have a 12 second boot time on a 6 year old PC I helped develop the Woods firmware that is often used on the DS Flashcarts. I did so to use my own Homebrew channels and browser on my DS and play USER DEVELOPED games. I dont advocate piracy but in the digital age we should all be able to back up our computer based purchases without fear of reprisals. It is interesting to note that people who download pirated films also spend the most money pursuing these activities. http://blogs.indepen dent.co.uk/2012/10/2 5/keith-lemon-the-fi lm-or-the-imposter-w hich-one-would-you-p ay-to-watch/ There is nothing worse then spending 50 notes on the latest xbox360 or PS3 game to discover it is a steaming pile of excrement with a pretty picture on the box. Developers should issue 1 or 2 level demo's to negate this. It used to work back in the day when we all got demo's of the front covers of Playstation magazine or similar. I know my kids have many games they would never have looked at twice otherwise. Until manufacturers allow the end consumer to take complete ownership of their devices this will continue! Game developers need to take a leaf out of Rovio's book, they offer a free ad based version of all the Angry Bird titles and they have a very tidy profit margin http://www.engadget. com/2012/05/07/rovio -2011-financials/ Go and join Croydon freegle. I have GIVEN many games away on there including Super Mario Bros (which is also available in cash convertors for the princely sum of £6) EverardEdbutt

9:47am Mon 12 Nov 12

EverardEdbutt says...

You can also bypass Nintendo's DRM by using one of their own games to fool the Wii into thinking the disc being loaded is a genuine Nintendo disc. It is a softmod that will work for many games and WILL NOT void your warranty.

Don't ask me what game or how to do it as I wont tell you!
But I'm sure you can findout if you are determined enough
You can also bypass Nintendo's DRM by using one of their own games to fool the Wii into thinking the disc being loaded is a genuine Nintendo disc. It is a softmod that will work for many games and WILL NOT void your warranty. Don't ask me what game or how to do it as I wont tell you! But I'm sure you can findout if you are determined enough EverardEdbutt

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