Exclusive: Fake Checks, Sexual Come-Ons and Now Jail -- The Hipster Grifter Speaks Out

Meet the 22-year-old scammer in her first media interview from behind bars.

ByABC News
September 11, 2009, 6:43 PM

Sept. 14, 2009— -- From the corner of the bar, she was all tattoos and witty come-ons. But get to know Kari Ferrell a bit better and you hear colorful stories about coughing up blood, cancer and unwanted pregnancies.

Ferrell -- dubbed the Hipster Grifter by New York tabloids -- is outgoing, talkative, flirty and makes friends quickly. But she also has a knack for passing bad checks, taking thousands of dollars from her victims.

Today as she sits in a Salt Lake City jail awaiting sentencing, she is unashamed, somewhat regretful and seems to relish the attention.

"As far as this whole story is concerned, I think that the reason it has been such a big deal is because I am pretty intelligent and very well spoken," Ferrell told ABC News in a series of phone interviews from jail. "I am charming and funny."

Ferrell, 22, faces up to 12 years in a Utah prison for forging checks, fraud and theft. But when she is sentenced on Oct. 9 she will probably get less time thanks to a plea agreement made last month.

Ferrell said she regrets her crimes but still doesn't have "a sane, good answer" to why she stole.

"It was stupid because I had a job. I didn't need the money," she said. "I can't really even talk it up to being younger, because even when I was younger, I knew it was wrong. Plus, I've always been intelligent for my age."

Brady Burrows was one of those scammed in Utah by Ferrell -- he says she took $1,350. The scheme was simple: Ferrell said she was locked out of her bank account and asked him to cash some checks. He got the cash and days later the checks bounced. Burrows was on the hook for the money.

"She gave me $50 and told me how grateful she was, which looking back now was hilarious," said Burrows, 26, who has known Ferrell since he was 17.

"She's good at being a friend. She puts herself out as fairly vulnerable in a lot of ways," he added. "But if you're around her long enough, you start to realize that there are way too many dramatic things going on in her life to be realistic by any means."

Her friends later in Brooklyn told similar stories.

She was known for passing guys notes on bar napkins about giving oral sex or needing a man "to toss their hot dog down my hallway."

"She is very aggressively sexually," Burrows said.

Ferrell said she's always had male friends and has heard all the stories.

"I'm just outspoken and I say funny things that are ridiculous and I assumed that people would be able to understand that they're jokes," she said. "Apparently they don't."

After the first reports about her and her crimes, stories surfaced of her telling guys she was pregnant and the baby was theirs -- something she adamantly denies. Bloggers shared their Hipster Grifter stories and sightings. Several said they were also scammed, although no charges have been filed against Ferrell in New York.

"Everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame," she said, adding that people were just repeating stories already out there. "They wanted to be in the media. They wanted to be a victim of the quote-unquote Hipster Grifter."

Ferrell has a vivid recollection of all her press and asked several times how this story would be presented, including what photo of her would be selected. Burrows said she clearly enjoys the attention.

"For once she didn't have to make up stories to have people talking about her," he said. "I think she loves the attention. She's always coming out with her pity stories of surgery and cancer and whatever the flavor of the week is."