Instead of “It’s Morphin’ Time,” an actor on the TV show Mighty Mophin Power Rangers may be doin’ time.
Austin St. John, who played the red Power Ranger on the show, which aired from 1993 to 1995, has been charged with others in a scheme to defraud the US government of CARES Act funds.
The Dept. of Justice alleges St. John was one of 18 charged with filing fraudulent applications for loans from the Paycheck Protection Program. They then allegedly transferred the money to the scheme’s ringleaders.
St. John, whose real name is Jason Geiger, allegedly obtained more than $400,000 in fraudulent PPP loans. He faces a potential sentence of up to 20 years, according to the DOJ.
The Justice Department named Michael Hill and Andrew Moran as the alleged leaders of the scheme.
“Hill is alleged to have recruited co-conspirators to use an existing business or create a business to submit applications to obtain PPP funding,” according to a Justice Department press release. “Once enlisted, Moran is alleged to have assisted his co-conspirators with the application paperwork, including fabricating supporting documentation and submitting the application through the online portals.”
The combined total the defendants allegedly obtained from the government came to $3.5 million.
In a statement St. John’s lawyer said he plead not guilty.
“An indictment is not evidence of guilt,” David Klaudt a lawyer representing St. John said. “All defendants are presumed innocent and Mr. St. John intends to vigorously defend himself against this allegation.”
St. John, age 47, has appeared in various Power Ranges shows over he years, including a guest spot in the 2020 TV show “Power Rangers Beast Morphers.”
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