Uh oh. A childhood hero has been caught by the FBI for alleged fraud!
In accordance with the Division of Justice, Austin St. John, who performed the pink Energy Ranger within the ‘90s hit present, Mighty Morphin Energy Rangers, has been charged for allegedly collaborating in a large fraud scheme that raked in $3.5 million meant for small companies through the coronavirus pandemic.
A neighbor within the actor’s McKinney, Texas neighborhood instructed TMZ that roughly 15 FBI brokers in tactical gear and carrying AR-15s approached Austin’s home at 7 a.m. on Thursday. They entered the house after which got here out with St. John in handcuffs! He has been accused of being considered one of 18 individuals who scammed the Small Enterprise Administration’s Paycheck Safety Program. The loans have been supposed to assist small companies keep afloat through the pandemic.
In accordance with a press launch by the DOJ, the 47-year-old, born Jason Lawrence Geiger, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Might 12 with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The report learn:
“On the functions, the defendants are alleged to have misrepresented materials data such because the true nature of their enterprise, the variety of workers, and the quantity of payroll. Primarily based on these materials misrepresentations, the [Small Business Administration] and different monetary establishments accepted and issued loans to the defendants.”
As soon as the funds have been distributed to the people, officers declare they weren’t used correctly, including that defendants “transferred cash to their private accounts, and spent the funds on numerous private purchases.”
Ermm… how did the federal government know the place the funds went? What, did they spy on their financial institution accounts or one thing??
The Turbo: A Energy Rangers Film alum responded to the accusations through an official assertion written by expertise agent and producer Zachery McGinnis shared on Instagram on Friday, saying:
“Austin St. John is a father, husband, position mannequin and good friend to many. The indictment detailed right now is populated by a large number of people – the vast majority of which Austin has no information of, and has by no means met or interacted with. It’s our understanding that Austin put his religion, fame, and funds within the palms of third events whose targets have been self-centered and in the end manipulated and betrayed his belief. We count on Austin’s authorized group to efficiently defend towards these fees and result in his final exoneration. We ask that you simply respect the privateness of Austin’s household in gentle of this severe state of affairs, and thanks to your assist.”
Galactic Productions additionally launched an announcement on Fb sharing that the martial artist would now not be capable of attend a Des Moines Con this weekend attributable to “unexpected private obligations.”
Equally, St. John’s legal professional, David Klaudt, instructed NBC Information:
“An indictment is just not proof of responsible. All defendants are presumed harmless and Mr. St. John intends to vigorously defend himself towards this allegation.”
Austin has pleaded not responsible to the cost. He and the opposite defendants every withstand 20 years in federal jail if convicted. Wow…