Austin St. John, who starred as the Red Power Ranger through the show’s glory days in the 1990s, was one of 18 individuals arrested in an FBI raid and charged in connection with a $3.5 million fraud scheme, ABC News reports.
According to TMZ, about 15 FBI agents showed up at his McKinney, Texas home Thursday morning carrying guns and wearing full tactical gear — he’s a martial arts expert, after all. St. John was then led away in handcuffs.
A federal indictment alleges that these 18 individuals obtained 16 separate loans from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, which was established as part of the 2020 CARES Act to provide COVID-19 relief. St. John — whose real name is Jason Geiger — purportedly took out $421,000 in PPP loans and transferred it to one of the two ringleaders. The feds claim that the money was spent on personal purchases, and that even legitimate expenses were paid for with loans that had been fraudulently obtained.
St. John starred in 82 episodes of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and an additional 19 episodes of the follow-up series, Power Rangers Zeo. He returned in 2020 for one episode of Power Rangers Beast Morphers. If convicted, he could face a maximum of 20 years in prison.
This isn’t the first time a former Red Ranger has failed to use their powers for good. In 2017, Ricardo Medino, who starred in Power Rangers Wild Force, pleaded guilty to killing his roommate with a sword. Besides that, the Red Ranger is also responsible for the time this author practiced karate on his little brother, and subsequently tried to convince their mother that said brother kicked himself in the head. That crime has gone unpunished.