Red Power Rangers arrested for COVID-19 fraud

Power Rangers Red
Saban Entertainment

Austin St. John

In 1993, he was Billy, the leader, the boss, the “red” leader of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers alongside Trini, Jason, Kimberly and Zack. And this for three seasons and 145 episodes! Thirty years later, he finds himself on the other side of the fence…

The actor Austin St. John was arrested last week along with 17 other people, in a crackdown led by U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston and the Department of Justice. All are accused of criminal conspiracy to commit “electronic fraud”.

St. John, 47, was arrested by authorities at his home on Thursday morning, reports TMZ. He was reportedly recruited by a certain Michael Hill, who had set up a COVID-19 fraud scheme, to dupe the American aid system, intended to keep businesses afloat during the health crisis.

Power Rangers: ALL the incredible series of an indestructible franchise

A statement was posted to the actor’s Instagram account on Friday afternoon and Austin St. John defends himself by explaining that he is just involved from afar in a scam that does not really concern him:

Austin St. John is a father, husband, role model and friend to many. The indictment detailed today is populated by a multitude of individuals – the majority of whom are unknown to Austin, whom he has never met or interacted with. We understand that Austin placed his faith, reputation and finances in the hands of third parties whose objectives were personal enrichment and ultimately manipulated and betrayed his trust. We believe Austin’s attorneys will be able to defend him with success against these charges and complete his exoneration.”

Andrew Moran, another defendant, allegedly helped his co-conspirators fabricate supporting documents and submit the claim through the government’s online portals. After successfully obtaining the support funds – via false information – instead of using the loans as intended, the defendants allegedly spent the money on personal purchases.

The 18 conspirators reportedly received 16 loans and at least $3.5 million in total. If convicted, they each face 20 years in federal prison.

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