Actor Austin St. John has found himself in deep trouble and this time it isn’t at the hands of the likes of Zedd or Rita Repulsa.
CNN recently reported that Austin St. John was indicted and has pleaded not guilty to a wire fraud charge for his role in a Covid-relief fund scheme, according to the indictment filed in Texas.
According to EW, and TMZ, U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston and the Department of Justice announced the arrests of 18 individuals, including St. John, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a press release on Wednesday.
St. John, 47, was picked up by authorities at his home Thursday morning, TMZ reported. A Representative for EW requested a Comment, however, the actor’s representative did not respond.
One of the defendants, Michael Hill, is alleged to have recruited the other individuals to either use an existing business or to create a business to submit applications to obtain funding from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, the loan program that was designed to keep businesses afloat during the COVID-19 crisis.
Another defendant, Andrew Moran is alleged to have helped his co-conspirators with fabricating supporting documentation and submitting the application through the government’s online portals. After successfully obtaining the funds via false information, instead of using the loans as intended, the defendants allegedly spent the money on personal purchases.
The 18 conspirators are alleged to have received 16 loans and at least $3.5 million in total. If convicted, they each face 20 years in federal prison.
Austin St. John, born Jason Lawrence Geiger, starred as Jason Lee Scott, the leader of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as the Red Ranger. Like Jason David Frank (Known to many as Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger), he would return over the years, making cameos on some of the Power Ranger Shows over the years. The actor also appeared in Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, the 1997 film that launched the Power Rangers Turbo television series.
Austin St. John does make appearances at conventions. And events for signing photos, figures, and other memorabilia.
According to EW, This isn’t the first time an actor from the Rangers-verse has faced legal troubles. Ricardo Medina Jr., who played the Red Ranger on Power Rangers Wild Force, was sentenced in 2017 for fatally stabbing his roommate with a sword. Before that, Skylar Deleon, who had a non-speaking role as a child actor on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, was convicted in 2008 of three counts of first-degree murder.
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