From Prisoner to Entrepreneur

Article excerpt

THEY SAY INCARCERATION gives a man time to think. In the case of Gregory Evans, 32, now CEO of the Cyber Group Network (CGN), jail gave him time to hatch a business plan.

In November 1998, Evans was arrested for hacking into the computers of AT&T, MCI, Sprint, WorldCom and ATX. A whistleblower notified the FBI he was billing millions of dollars worth of Internet access fees to fake tollfree accounts he set up while employed by Franklin Telecom, a telecom equipment and services provider.

Evans, whose adventures in hacking began when the father of a fellow high school student caught him altering report cards and hired him to break into the computers of a rival law firm, was confined to the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles for 16 months while he awaited trial on two charges. (Evans was also charged, in a separate case, with high-tech grand theft for digitally diverting $300,000 worth of pagers from their manufacturer.)

"In high school I wrote a paper on how I wanted to be the president of AT&T after I graduated," Evans recalls. "Little did I know that years later, I'd be indicted for ripping off the company. …