CHICAGO (CBS) — A music manager claims she was scammed by an up-and-coming rapper and producer.

As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported Monday night, the manager said she paid for their talent, but says she got nothing in return.

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“It does feel like a shakedown,” said independent artist manager Elizabeth Johanson. “It feels like a never-ending ladder.”

Johanson manages independent artists for a label called Chicago Executives.

“They feel like nobody is going to say anything because of their status,” she said.

But she isn’t staying silent anymore. Johanson claims Chicago rapper Queen Key scammed her out of $1,000 for a virtual concert during the pandemic.

She also alleges producer DJ Ayo was paid for his services, but he never delivered.

“It looks like bad recognition on our company,” Johanson said.

Johanson scheduled a virtual concert to help her lesser-known artists during the pandemic. She did it earlier in the lockdown with different artists and it was a success – teaming up with bigger names to help her independent rappers get exposure.

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Ke’Asha McClure, known as Queen Key, was paid $1,000. But Johanson claims Queen Key never did the virtual concert.

Johanson tried getting her money back starting in October with no luck.

“We did have to refund tickets. We had to refund slots – the whole nine yards,” Johanson said.

In a separate transaction, DJ Ayo – or Jahmere Tylon – was paid $650 to produce beats. But when the work never got done, Johansen asked repeatedly for a refund.

“Of course, money never came,” Johanson said.

He wrote in a message: “So when should I expect my refund, because Monday had come and passed? So what’s up with my refund?”

“I haven’t received my refund,” Johanson said.

After months of not offering a refund, Johanson said that Queen Key paid up in full on Monday after we started asking questions.

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DJ Ayo responded to us in an email and says he didn’t scam anybody. Rather, he said, he got behind and did some of the work and therefore couldn’t offer a full refund – only a partial one. He also said Johanson hasn’t contacted him about that.

Charlie De Mar