Austin St. John releases a statement following $3.5 million fraud arrest

Earlier today Austin St. John, the original Red Power Ranger from the hit TV show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, was arrested as part of a group of 18 that defrauded the U.S. government’s Payback Protection Program out of $3.5 million during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If convicted, Austin St. John faces up to 20 years in federal prison. The U.S. government has been actively prosecuting many people who used the scheme for personal gain rather than its intended purpose of helping struggling businesses pay their employees during the lockdown.

The Payback Protection Program is part of the CARES act that was signed into law by President Donald Trump in March 2020.

READ MORE: Red Power Rangers actor Austin St. John charged with fraud

In a statement released by his management team Galactic Productions, LLC, it is said that “Austin’s legal team to successfully defend against these charges and lead to his ultimate exoneration.

“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.”

Austin St. John is best known for playing Jason Lee Scott, the original Red Power in Season 1 and part of Season 2 of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

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Since his departure from the series, St. John has reprised his role on a number of occasions including as the Gold Ranger in 1996’s Power Rangers Zero, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, Power Rangers Wild Force, and most recently in 2020’s Power Rangers Beast Morphers.

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