A day in the life

Con Man Movies and The Real Guys Who Inspired Them


Chameleon Street

What does a Houston Oilers wide receiver, a physician at Henry Ford Hospital, a lawyer in Saginaw, a first year medical student a Yale University, and an All-Star football player from the University of Michigan Have in common? Give up? I will tell you. They are same person. That’s right you heard me correctly they are all the same person. That person is William Douglas St., Junior. Street is a career Con Man who inspired the film, Chameleon Street a film by Flint filmmaker Wendell B Harris Junior. The film won a prize At the 1990 Sundance film Festival. After four decades of impersonated Everything Street student federal court has a balding ex-con who can’t get a job. He pleaded guilty Thursday to identity theft and mail fraud. He pled guilty to stealing identity of a defense contractor in 2013 obtaining the man’s college transcripts, diplomas and class ring from Duke University and the US military Academy. He then use the information to post a fake resume to career builder.com. He also had a fake military ID that you use to get into college alumni functions. Even gave a speech once pretending to be a Duke graduate. Street said that he thought a military background might help him get a job. With 13 previous convictions and 11 prison sentences, it was hard to get a job. His career as a con man however is probably over. The technology these days are too sophisticated for Street and his lawyer says his client has learned his lesson. Personally, who knows, it’s what he’s done all his life.




Mug shot of Frank Abagnale
Mug shot of Frank Abagnale

Catch Me If You Can

Another con man who had his life made into a movie is Frank Abagenale, whose autobiography was made into the movie Catch Me If You Can. Frank Abagenale was a check forger and imposter. Between the ages of 15 and 21 he assumed no fewer than eight identities. Those identities included an airline pilot, a physician, a US Bureau of prisons agent, and a lawyer. He escaped from previous custody twice before he was 21 years old. Frank’s first victim was his father. His dad gave him a gasoline credit card and a truck to help them get to his part-time job. In order to get money for a date, Frank used a gasoline card to buy tires batteries and other car items at a gas station. He would then return them for cash. This scheme was found out when his father got his credit card bill. Dad was liable for a bill worth $3400. Frank was only 15 and just starting his life as a con man. Frank also described an occasion when he saw that the location where airlines and car rental businesses would drop their daily collections of money in zip up bag and then deposit them in your drop box on the airport premises. He bought a security guard disguise at a local costume shop and wearing a disguise, he put a sign over the box saying “how to service, placed deposits with security guard on duty”. He collected quite a bit of money that way although he said he could not believe his idea worked saying “How can a drop box be out of service?”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Abagnale


Bernard Madoff Mug Shot
Bernard Madoff Mug Shot


The Wizard of Lies (coming soon)

Although many of us think most bankers are conmen, and stockbrokers and swindlers, Bernie Madoff a stockbroker, a destiny advisor and financier actually is a fraud. The former nonexecutive Chairman of the NASDAQ stock market admitted to be an operator of a Ponzi scheme that was the largest financial fraud in US history.   A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation for a person pays returns to its investors from new capital but its investors from new capital paid to them by new investors rather than from profit earned by the operator. A bit of the old robbing Peter to pay Paul. For Madoff, his firm was one of the top market maker businesses on Wall Street. He “bypassed” specialist open” to give firms by executive orders over the counter from retail brokers. Although the US security and exchange commission has previously conducted investigations into Madoff’s business practices, they had not uncovered the fraud. It is actually believe that Madoff’s operation was never legitimate. In 2009 Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison and he had to give up $17.179 billion. That’s lots of dough. HBO is making a movie about Madoff in which actor Robert De Niro is set to star, based on thebest-selling book The Wizard of Lies, by Diana B. Henriques. On August 28, 2015 it was announced that Michelle Pfeiffer will be playing Ruth MadoffMadoff went into prison at the age 77 if he manages to live (maybe we come up with drugs that make us live forever), Madoff is scheduled for release November 14, 2139.

source: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-bernie-madoffs-ponzi-scheme-worked-2014-7