I know what you’re thinking, and no, this is not about Pablo Escobar. Life happens, and sometimes we do stuff we regret. But Serving time in jail doesn’t mean the end of your career or your life for that matter.
And to prove that, here’s a list of people who got in prison or jail but become successful nonetheless. Our Top 10 Successful Convicted Felons:
Top 10 Successful Convicted Felons
1. Kevin Mitnick
There’s an apparent reason why this guy is on the top of my list. Do you think that getting into jail is something extreme? Well, try making it to the FBI’s list of most-wanted Criminals. Well, Mr. Kevin here did it.
At an age where most teenagers’ main goals are going to parties and establishing relationships with the opposite sex, our Kevin was too busy hacking into Digital Equipment Corporation‘s computer network. He did this while he was 16 years old. Unfortunately for him he got caught in 1995 and sentenced to seven years in prison.
But despite what most movies make us believe, not every person becomes a gangster once they go to jail. Even though Kevin’s skills would attract certain unwanted attention, Kevin managed to stay straight after leaving the prison and become a successful entrepreneur by founding Mitnick Security. This company specializes in cybersecurity which can be hired by other companies.
2. Frank William Abagnale
Exactly like Kevin, Frank began his criminal life when he was a teen. He didn’t like his financial status, so he decided to challenge the US government by writing false checks. His fraudulent checks were equal to 2.5 million dollars.
Sadly, for him, he got caught by the French police and served five years in prison. What’s interesting is that he got released only to Serve as an advisor for the US government in fighting crimes like the ones he used to commit.
But that’s not all; Frank now runs Abagnale & Associates, a financial fraud consultancy company.
He inspired producers to make a movie about his life, called “catch me if you can” which starred very well-known actors are the Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio and tom Hank.
3. Kwesi Mfume
Ever heard of a member of Congress that served time in jail? Well, Kwesi Mfume is one.
Even though he dropped out of school, his life changed on he enrolled at John Hopkins University and ended up graduating and getting their prestigious degree.
Moreover, he was the president of the NAACP at some point in his career.
4. Robert Glenn Johnson
Also known as Junior Johnson, Robert won 50 NASCAR races in his career and was six times the winner of the Winston cup series. But before all that, he used his talent to smuggle alcohol in North Carolina in the 1940s and 1950s.
Despite his criminal past, he owned a NASCAR racing team and now produces a line of fried pork skin and some of the delicious country ham.
5. Charles Colson
This guy was successful before he becomes a criminal, he was a special counsel to President Richard Nixon. after the Watergate political scandal, he served a year in prison, and during that time he founded a prison fellowship which is now the most prominent outreach organization for people serving time in prison. Charles died in the spring of 2012.
6. Larry Jay Levine
Larry was a federal inmate for ten years. In court, he was charged with the obstruction of justice, possession of unlicensed arms and illegal drugs, and some securities fraud offenses.
He may have lost ten years of his life in prison, but he gained enough experience that made him able to work as a prison consultant, providing legal services to attorneys and felons.
At this moment, he is the overseer of Wall Street Prison Consultants.
7. Judge Greg Mathis
Greg Mathis was born in Detroit, the home of many street gangs. His entourage drove him to join a gang, but he was caught and sentenced to prison because of that.
Soon after knowing that his mother had cancer, he figured that it was high time he dropped the criminal life and went to college. He got a law degree at the Eastern Michigan University. And in 1999 his tv court show began to air, making him very popular for a judge.
8. Danny Trejo
For those of you who don’t recognize him by his name, Danny is that Mexican guy that played the main character in the Machete movie. Before his success in Hollywood, he served some time in prison for possession of illegal drugs and robbery. He appeared in around 200 movies, a lot of those with the famous Robert Rodríguezes.
He also appeared on some of the top-rated tv shows such as the breaking bad and the Flash.
9. Stephen Richard
Stephen entered the prison for the distribution of illegal drugs; he served nine years straight. However, he used most of his free time to study and so he got his bachelor’s before he got out. Then the University of Wisconsin sent him his graduate degree. After that, he attended the Iowa State University to get his Ph.D. His books are considered valuable assets in understanding criminology.
10. Michael Vick
Michael Vick is a famous football player, a quarterback to be precise. He was the first overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. With that being said he did get into prison for being responsible for a dog-fighting ring. He even confessed that he was involved in a conspiracy. His life changed after jail so much that BET made a documentary of it called the “Michael Vick Project” which he himself took part in creating.
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