Plano, TX – A Texas actor who played the red Power Ranger in the movie “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” and the 1990s television series by the same name was charged last week with fraudulently obtaining Covid relief loans.
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas announced on May 17 that 47-year-old Jason Lawrence Geiger, whose stage name is Austin St. John, was one of 19 people charged in a scheme to obtain 16 fraudulent loans that totaled more than $3.5 million, the New York Post reported.
Prosecutors said that Geiger was part of a network that used false information or fabricated documents to apply for loan through Paycheck Protection Program.
Investigators determined that the network was led by 47-year-old Michael “Tank” Hill and 43-year-old Andrew Moran who recruited other people to use “an existing business or create a business” to apply for the Covid relief loans, the New York Post reported.
Prosecutors said that Hill and Moran used the money meant to help businesses suffering from the pandemic for themselves.
The U.S. attorney said Hill and Moran also sent part of the money to 33-year-old Jonathan Spencer to invest in foreign exchange markets.
The former Red Ranger has pleaded not guilty to the one federal fraud charge against him, the New York Post reported.
Geiger’s attorney said the actor looked forward to “vigorously defend himself against this allegation.”
Federal prosecutors have cracked down nationwide on suspects who fraudulently applied for or used funds that were distributed by the government at the height of the pandemic, the Daily Mail reported.
The daughter of a former South Florida mayor and former congressional candidate was sent to prison for 20 months in February for lying to get a $300,000 pandemic relief loan.
She pleaded guilty a day after her father lost his congressional primary by just five votes, the Daily Mail reported.