On Feb. 2, 2002, Gregory Evans celebrated his 33rd birthday. On Feb. 4, he was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison. “It’s funny how life works,” says the founder of Cyber Group Network Corp. in San Bernardino, California, and former Black Digerati (see “Going Legit,” Techwatch, July 2001).
After entering a guilty plea, Evans was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $9 million in restitution for federal conspiracy and wire fraud against AT&T and MCI. The charges stemmed from an FBI investigation in 1997 and alleged that Evans obtained more than 125 toll-free lines for which he never paid. He then resold the numbers to ISP start-ups. In 1999, U.S. District Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer entered a default judgment for more than $24 million and ordered Evans to pay $7,500 in fines.
Mark Zmigrodski, manager for AT&T’s Toll Fraud Management Organization, says, “Since this case, AT&T has developed and implemented finely tuned thresholds to network algorithms for certain call patterns, significantly enhancing our ability to detect and prevent this type of fraud.” He also says that AT&T is satisfied with the $9 million restitution, but he expected a longer jail sentence because hundreds of ISP’s and thousands of home users were affected. Evans, who will be released on Jan. 7, 2003, recently contracted with the FutureShop chain in Canada to sell his Password Protection Information Retrieval Technology (www.ppirt.com).