Sentenced delayed for man who inspired Sundance film

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Detroit — Sentencing for a Metro Detroit impostor who inspired an award-winning film about being someone else has been rescheduled for Monday.

Federal prosecutors are recommending three years in prison for William Douglas Street who pleaded guilty in September to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.

He was to return to federal court on Thursday for his sentence, in which prosecutors want him sentenced at the top of the guidelines for his crimes. But court officials said he was not transported to the courthouse.

Police investigating bad checks caught Street a year ago with a doctor’s coat bearing the name of William Stratton.

Stratton works for a Maryland defense contractor and is a graduate of West Point but he’s not a doctor.

During a nearly half-century criminal career, Street has conned his way into surgical suites and a Detroit Tigers tryout before ripping off one legendary ballplayer and threatening to kill another's wife and kids.

Known as the "Chameleon" and "The Great Imposter," Street allegedly pulled off his last con in 2015.

The Plymouth Township resident was charged with mail fraud and aggravated identity theft in federal court for allegedly stealing a Defense Department contractor's persona to pick up women and land a job.

The latest alleged scheme fits a pattern for a self-confessed con artist whose scams typically involve uniforms, fantastic pedigrees and advanced degrees and leave behind violated lives.

His criminal career spans Illinois, California, Florida and Michigan as well as myriad targets: a dry cleaner, a jeweler, hospital patients, professional athletes and, most recently, the U.S. Department of Defense contractor who specializes in securing the government's secrets.

Street has racked up 25 convictions during a 46-year criminal career that inspired the movie "Chameleon Street," which won the top award at the Sundance Film Festival in 1990.

He's got 11 prison sentences on his rap sheet, at least one jail break and three aliases.

Street also posed as a football player with the Houston Oilers.

JChambers@detroitnews.com