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Friday, June 24, 2022

Red Power Ranger actor accused of cheating

The actor behind Red Power Ranger, an iconic TV superhero in the 1990s, was charged with fraud on Thursday.

Austin St. John, whose real name is Jason Lawrence Geiger, was one of 18 people indicted in the federal indictment announced by US Attorney Britt Featherston in Texas.

According to the indictment, St. John was allegedly part of a “plan to defraud lenders” and part of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. The program helped small businesses affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and was funded by the CARES Act.

The announcement said St. John’s and others reportedly obtained at least 16 loans and $3.5 million in the scheme. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in federal prison.

Planning co-leader Michael Hill named the indictment as the person recruiting St. John and others to gather existing or new businesses for PPP applications. Andrew Moran, who was also named as the co-leader of the plan, reportedly assisted the “Power Rangers” actor and others with paperwork by misrepresenting businesses.

“Once in receipt of fraudulently obtained money, the defendant did not use the money as intended, such as to pay employee wages, cover fixed debt or utility payments, or to continue health care benefits for employees,” Featherston announced. “Instead, the defendants typically paid Hill and Moran, transferred money to their personal accounts, and spent the money on various personal purchases.”

St. John is best known for playing Jason Lee Scott in “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers”, the first role of his career in 1993. He left the show in its second season, but would return in later renditions of the popular superhero franchise.

St. John was set to appear at the Des Moines Con in Iowa this weekend, however, organizers of the event announced he would not attend “due to unforeseen personal obligations”.

“He sends his apologies and love to all those who were looking forward to meeting him,” Galactic Productions wrote in a Facebook post.

St. John isn’t the only Power Ranger to face legal troubles. Former “Power Rangers Wild Force” actor Ricardo Medina Jr. was sentenced to 6 years in prison in 2017 after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter. He said he stabbed a man, whom authorities identified as his roommate Josh Sutter.

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World Nation News Desk
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