Power Rangers Star Austin St. John's Instagram Posts Statement on Fraud Charges

Yesterday the Department of Justice revealed it had indicted 18 individuals with violations of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one of those individuals was Austin St. John (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), whose real name is Jason Lawrence Geiger. The release from U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston stated if convicted, the 18 charged could be facing up to 20 years in prison. Galactic Productions has issued a statement on behalf of St. John, stating that "Austin has no knowledge of, and has never met or interacted with" the majority of individuals listed in the indictment.

The post also states that "it is our understanding that Austin put his faith, reputation, and finances in the hands of third parties whose goals were self-centered and ultimately manipulated and betrayed his trust." The legal team expects to successfully defend St. John against these charges, and you can read the full post from Instagram below.

"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 which Austin has no knowledge of, and has never met or interacted with. It is our understanding that Austin put his faith, reputation, and finances in the hands of third parties whose goals were self-centered and ultimately manipulated and betrayed his trust. We expect Austin's legal team to successfully defend against these charges and lead to his ultimate exoneration. We ask that you respect the privacy of Austin's family in light of this serious situation, and thank you for your support.
Zachery McGinnis
Galactic Productions, LLC
Zach@GalacticProductionsLLC.com"

You can read the excerpt from the official release by the Department of Justice and the list of defendants below.

Michael Lewayne Hill, a/k/a Tank, 47, of Mineral Wells;

Andrew Charles Moran, 43, of Lewisville;

Peter Keovongphet, a/k/a Lil' Pete, 34, of Ft. Lauderdale, FL;

Ty Alan Burkhart, 34, of Frisco;

Jason Lawrence Geiger, a/k/a Austin St. John a/k/a the Red Power Ranger, 47, of McKinney;

Eric Reed Marascio, a/k/a Phoenix Marcon, 50, of Allen;

Christopher Lee McElfresh, 43, of Frisco;

Cord Dean Newman, 44, of Homosassa, FL;

Elmer Omar Ayala, 45, of Midlothian;

Gregory Fitzgerald Hatley, Jr., 38, of Allen;

Alexander Eric Cortesano, 52, of Dallas;

Arthur Atik Pongtaratik, 33, of Carrollton;

Miles Justin Urias, 34, of Richardson;

Fabian C. Hernandez, 44, of Lake Alfred, FL;

Daniel Lee Warren, 33, address unknown;

Rajaa Bensellam, 49, of Allen;

Hadi Mohammed Taffal, 50, of Allen; and

Jonathon James Spencer, a/k/a Spence, 33, of Rowlett.

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The release from the Department of Justice reads "According to the indictment, the defendants, led by Michael Hill and Andrew Moran, are alleged to have executed a scheme to defraud lenders and the Small Business Administration's (SBA's) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Hill is alleged to have recruited co-conspirators to use an existing business or create a business to submit applications to obtain PPP funding. Once enlisted, Moran is alleged to have assisted his co-conspirators with the application paperwork, including fabricating supporting documentation and submitting the application through the online portals. On the applications, the defendants are alleged to have misrepresented material information such as the true nature of their business, the number of employees, and the amount of payroll.

Based on these material misrepresentations, the SBA and other financial institutions approved and issued loans to the defendants. Once in receipt of the fraudulently obtained funds, the defendants did not use the money as intended, such as to pay employee salaries, cover fixed debt or utility payments, or continue health care benefits for employees. Instead, the defendants typically paid Hill and Moran, transferred money to their personal accounts, and spent the funds on various personal purchases. In other instances, the defendants sent the fraudulently obtained funds to Jonathon Spencer for purported investment in foreign exchange markets. In total, the defendants are alleged to have fraudulently obtained at least 16 loans and at least $3.5 million."