‘Power Rangers’ star Austin St. John faces 20 years in prison for ‘stimulus loan fraud’ charges as fans fear cast reunion

Power Rangers star Austin St. John is facing a 20-year prison sentence on charges of participating in a multi-million dollar stimulus fraud scheme.

The actor (real name Jason Lawrence Geiger) is one of 18 people in federal indictment charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in Texas.

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Actor Austin St. John could be sentenced to 20 years in prison on fraud charges1 credit
He became famous as the first Red Power Ranger.

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He became famous as the first Red Power Ranger.1 credit

According to the indictment, St. John allegedly participated in a scheme to create businesses or use existing ones to fraudulently file applications with the Small Business Administration for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding.

The defendants are said to have secured 16 or more loans worth at least $3.5 million.

Fans fear that plans to reunite the original Power Rangers to celebrate their 30th anniversary may have to be scrapped as the 47-year-old could face up to 20 years in federal prison if found guilty.

Hasbro asked all of the show’s cast to come together, but St. John’s legal issues cast doubt on whether it would continue.

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Prosecutors allege that St. John, best known for playing the Red Power Ranger in the original series, and his co-defendants paid the ringleaders of the scheme and spent the cash on personal purchases.

BUT release from the Department of Justice for the Eastern District of Texas, 18 defendants were either arrested or summoned to appear before a federal magistrate.

It states: “According to the indictment, the defendants, led by Michael Hill and Andrew Moran, allegedly ran a scheme to defraud creditors and the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

“It is alleged that Hill hired associates to use an existing business or create a business to apply for PPP funding.

“After enrolling, Moran allegedly assisted his co-conspirators with paperwork, including producing supporting documentation and applying through online portals.

“In the statements, defendants allegedly misrepresented material information such as the true nature of their business, the number of employees, and wages.”

According to the indictment, based on “material submissions”, the SBA and other institutions approved and issued loans to the defendants.

It further states: “Having received the funds fraudulently obtained, the defendants did not use the money for its intended purpose, such as paying wages to employees, covering a fixed debt or utility bills, or continuing to pay employees medical benefits.

“Instead, the defendants typically paid Hill and Moran, transferred the money to their personal accounts, and spent the funds on various personal purchases.”

The government has established the Paycheck Protection Program to provide taxpayer-funded loans to support small businesses and their workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The US Treasury has provided more than $349 billion in forgiveable loans to help small businesses pay their employees during the crisis.

St. John rose to fame when he landed the role of teenage superhero Jason Lee Scott in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the first installment in the franchise that debuted on Fox Kids in 1993.

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He left the show midway through the second season with two other co-stars before reprising the role for the fourth season and second film.

He has also appeared in films such as A Walk with Grace and Monsters Unleashed.

The show debuted on Fox Kids in 1993.

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The show debuted on Fox Kids in 1993.1 credit
St. John (real name Jason Lawrence Geiger) was chosen for the role as a teenager.

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St. John (real name Jason Lawrence Geiger) was chosen for the role as a teenager.1 credit

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