Austin St. John, the original Red Power Ranger from the 1990s TV series “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” has been arrested on wire fraud conspiracy charges stemming from an alleged COVID-19 business relief loan scheme.
According to Entertainment Weekly, U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston and the Department of Justice revealed in a news release Wednesday, the arrests of 18 individuals, including St. John, with charges of defrauding the government, specifically the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Profram, to get COVID business relief money.
St. John’s Texas home was raided by the FBI on Thursday morning, resulting in his arrest, according to TMZ.
According to the news release, individuals were allegedly recruited by Michael Hill to use a current business or create one for applications to the SBA’s PPP, which aimed to provide money to small business affected by COVID. Andrew Moran allegedly fabricated supporting paperwork and applied through the government portal.
The group allegedly received 16 loans and at least $3.5 million in total, which they allegedly spent on personal purchases rather than using the loans for their intended purpose. If convicted, they each face 20 years in federal prison.
St. John kicked of his career in 1993 as Jason Lee Scott, the Red Ranger, in the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.” He left the show in its second season but came back as the franchise grew and his character became the Gold Ranger.