R. Kelly's former crisis manager duped DC woman out of $30K

R. Kelly’s former crisis manager is facing more allegations of fraud and theft across the country and in the District.

FOX 5's Jacqueline Matter spoke exclusively with another victim who says she was scammed by the celebrity publicist.

Cola Lewis, of D.C., said she was scammed out of nearly $30,000 while she lived and cared for her sick mother in Houston, Texas.

She says if she can’t get her money back from the alleged scam artist, she at least wants to warn others before they fall victim.

DC man says R. Kelly's former crisis manager stole over $70,000 from him

In the summer of 2019, Lewis was mourning the loss of her mother after she accidentally overdosed from a medical error at a Houston hospital.

"I just felt like I needed vindication from my mother," she said.

Lewis says at the time she felt like the stars aligned when she met Darrell Johnson at a local grocery store.

"I’m just bawling. I'm overwhelmed with sadness. Just wanted someone to help us raise awareness to bring some attention to how awful my mother was treated," Lewis said.

Johnson allegedly said he would help her file a medical malpractice lawsuit, even offering to provide services pro bono, claiming his mother also died at the same hospital.

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That free help quickly turned into fees, Lewis said. 

"He said, ‘well, I’m gonna have to at least ask you for $5,000.’ He said, ‘do you have the $5,000 right now we can get started today?’ I said, ‘okay.’ He said 'follow me to the Chase and I'll have my assistant send over a contract by the time we get there, and we can get started and I can get the ball rolling,'" Lewis recalled. 

Lewis says she quickly became suspicious as he requested more money with nothing to show for it.

"Within nine days, $5,000 went to $28,000. He didn’t do anything. Nothing, she said. 

Lewis filed criminal charges against Johnson in Houston where he is accused of aggregate theft.

In a statement to FOX 5, Johnson says he’s innocent of any and all accusations.

The prosecutor trying the case doesn’t agree.

"He lies and deceives people. They trust him. They believe him. He becomes the person that they want to rely on, someone they want to give their money to help them with a situation or an investment," said Sheila Hansel, assistant district attorney for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

‘I don't know if Mr. Johnson is going to ultimately stay or be in the category of being a good con artist but the charges that are filed now allege that he is indeed a con artist," Hansel said.

For Lewis – she wants her fellow Washingtonians to be aware of his capabilities. 

"Be mindful that this individual is in our city, and they have no good intentions. He wakes up every morning and predicates on people who are going to work, and I want that to stop," she said. 

The prosecutor in Houston is urging anyone in D.C. who may feel they are a victim of Johnson to file a police report with your local jurisdiction but also to reach out to the Harris County DA’s Office.

Again, Johnson tells us he denies any and all accusations against him. He is expected to have his next court date in Texas in early November.

It will likely be some time next year before a plea deal is reached, or a trial takes place.

Hansel says if he does go to trial he could be facing two to ten years behind bars for three different charges he faces.

The victims have also created an Instagram account, @darrelljohnsonscammer, where they include warnings and documentation of cases against Johnson.