We reached hipster grifter Kari Ferrell’s Salt Lake City bail-bond agent—who has been working on the Kari Ferrell, a.k.a. the Hipster Grifter, case since last June—this afternoon, and agreed to grant anonymity because the agent had safety concerns (bail-bond agents are not exactly popular with a certain demographic that is demonstrably prone to crime, after all).
Here’s what the agent said: “I’d smack the shit out of Kari if she came by.”
“I bailed her out on June 8, 2008,” the agent told The Observer. “I get a call from her—she’s booked into the Salt Lake City jail on a third-degree felony forgery charge.”
This charge came a month after Ms. Ferrell had been released from jail on fraud charges.
“I asked her what the situation was. At first, she said she had nobody who could help her—typically people’s parents will help them.”
Ms. Ferrell explained to the bond agent that she owed her mother and stepfather quite a bit of money. The problem had arisen because, the agent said, in the process of paying back her parents, Ms. Ferrell had fabricated a form from Western Union saying that the money was lost. When her stepfather went to a Western Union with the form Ms. Ferrell had given him, he was informed that the form was a fake, and almost got arrested. At this point, said the bail agent, Ms. Ferrell ’fessed up.
“She’s placed under arrest for forgery, and she gives me the number of this kid Brian MaWhinney, who’s very responsible.” (Read Mr. MaWhinney’s account of his experiences with Ms. Ferrell.) “He put up the $500 and signed for her $5,000 bond. So I bail her out of jail.”
At this time, said the bond agent, Ms. Ferrell was working at a place called Professional Staffing—not, as she told nearly everyone she met, at the concert promotion company GoldenVoice. After a few weeks, the bond agent received a notice from the court that she had failed to appear, and the bond was going into forfeiture.
“I started to track her down. First I called Brian MaWhinney,” said the agent. “He told me she had been transferred with this staffing company to New York. I called the staffing company and they immediately tell me that not only do they not have an office in New York, but that she had never returned to work.” According to the bond agent, Ms. Ferrell had called the staffing agency and told them she’d just been released from jail. Not only that, her dad was sick. She called the staffing company the next day and told them that her dad had passed away. She also asked if the company provided any sort of funeral leave. And what did you know? They did! A week, fully paid, in fact. All she needed to do, they said, was give them some proof of her dad’s death.
“She got a funeral home to call her work and say her dad was dead,” said the bond agent. “Then the funeral home calls me a couple days later and says there’s no dead dad in any hospital in the city.” Ms. Ferrell had called the funeral home and informed them that her father had passed away, and as soon as the body was ready she would be using their services, and would they just mind calling her work and confirming her story?
“They called the work back and said, ain’t happening, no dead dad. I couldn’t find her at this point, so I called her dad. He said, I guess this is the second or third time I’ve died this year.”
The bond agent finally tracked Ms. Ferrell to Brooklyn. “She tells me, you’ll never believe this, I have lung cancer. I said, you sound great for a chick dying of lung cancer.” The bond agent called her mother, who is a nurse, and her stepfather. They informed the bond agent that it wasn’t Ms. Ferrell’s first go-round with cancer.
“The way her stepdad and her mom explained it to me was that they’d known since she was very young that she had some mental health issues. I’ve been doing this for 10 years, and she’s good. She gets these guys on the line and she’s good at what she does. But it is one lie after another.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Ferrell had called the court clerk in Salt Lake City, explained she had cancer, and managed to get her court date moved. She never showed up for that one, either.