DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Federal prosecutors are recommending three years in prison for a Detroit-area impostor who inspired an award-winning film about being someone else.
William Street Jr. pleaded guilty in September to identity theft. He’s returning to court on Thursday for his sentence.
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.
Street told the FBI that he decided to assume Stratton’s identity after reading about the former Green Beret running a marathon, according to a court filing. He obtained diplomas, transcripts and a U.S. Military Academy class ring in Stratton’s name, the FBI said.
Street has convictions going back decades and even fooled the Detroit Tigers into giving him a tryout in the 1970s. In a previous interview with the Detroit News, Street said the tryout with the Tigers was actually a huge turning point for him.
“That was the first time I found out how easy it was to get people to believe whatever you said as long as you said it right,” he said.
Street was also the inspiration for “Chameleon Street,” which won a major prize at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival.
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