Actor Austin St. John, who played the Red Power Ranger back in the hit ’90s TV show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, has been arrested.
John was arrested after the FBI reportedly raided his house when he was found to be involved in a huge Covid fraud scheme.
Eighteen other people allegedly involved were also charged in a federal indictment yesterday.
According to TMZ, his neighbor saw over a dozen FBI agents, who were suited up, approach John’s home on Thursday at 7 am in McKinney, Texas.
They appeared to be holding AR-15s as the group made their way to his front door.
The neighbor saw them leave with John in handcuffs and later found out he had been charged with fraud.
John was allegedly part of a group of eighteen others who were set on taking money from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.
It was funded by the CARES Act, to help small businesses that were affected by the pandemic.
It has been revealed that over the course of John’s involvement, he took out sixteen loans with PPP, totaling a whopping $3.5 million.
Instead of using the money as it was intended, to pay employees and business expenses, he used it for personal gain.
As did the other culprits.
However, fans seem to be making light of the situation online…
One Facebook user wrote: “I wonder if he said, ‘it’s Morphin time’ right before he was taken down and arrested. that would have been epic!”
While another commented: “Why did they need all that? Did they think he was gonna morph outta this??” referring to the fifteen FBI agents.
“Rita Repulsa, you missed a great ploy to take down the power rangers… you could have framed them all for crimes but instead you chose violence,” a third said, referencing the villain out of the original Power Rangers series.
John, whose real name is Jason Lawrence Geiger, played the character of Jason Lee Scott in the show which hit screens in 1993.
He stayed for just one season before leaving but returned to the show multiple times over the years.
The official statement from the Department of Justice reads: “The defendants, led by Michael Hill and Andrew Moran, are alleged to have executed a scheme to defraud lenders and the Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
“Hill is alleged to have recruited co-conspirators [John being one of them] to use an existing business or create a business to submit applications to obtain PPP funding. Once enlisted, Moran is alleged to have assisted his co-conspirators with the application paperwork.”
John was meant to greet fans at the Des Moines Comic-Con this weekend, but after he was arrested, the organizers announced he was unable to make it “due to unforeseen personal obligations.”
Galactic Productions wrote on Facebook: “He sends his apologies and love to all those that were looking forward to meeting him.”
If found guilty, John could be looking at twenty years behind bars.