Red Power Ranger Austin St. John Arrested for COVID Relief-Related Wire Fraud
Power Rangers are supposed to be the good guys, but original Red Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger Austin St. John was just arrested for wire fraud after allegedly taking money away from COVID-19 relief.
U.S. attorney Brit Featherston of Texas announced Austin St. John, real name Jason Lawrence Geiger, was one of 18 people charged in a federal indictment related to fraudulent COVID relief funds. St. John portrayed Jason Lee Scott, the Red Ranger and leader of the Power Rangers, in the hit '90s series.
The indictment states that two Texas men, Michael Hill and Andrew Moran, created a scheme to "defraud lenders and the Small Business Administration’s (SBA's) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)."
Hill allegedly recruited 16 other people to submit fraudulent applications to gain PPP funding for COVID-19 relief.
After the defendants received the funds, they allegedly did not use the money as intended to help their "business" amid the pandemic.
According to the report, the conspirators paid Moran and Hill and then spent the rest of the money on personal purchases. Others also put their money in foreign exchange markets. The 18 defendants allegedly obtained at least 16 loans equating to $3.5 million.
St. John was scheduled to speak at Des Moines Con in Iowa this weekend. The event announced his absence in a Facebook post.
"Due to unforeseen personal obligations, Austin St. John is unable to attend Des Moines Con this weekend. He sends his apologies and love to all those that were looking forward to meeting him. Austin plans to be here to meet all of his fans in 2023," the post reads.