Jason Lawrence Geiger, aka Austin St. John, played the original Red Power Ranger in the 1990s.

PLANO, Texas – Jason Lawrence Geiger, aka Austin St. John, a Texas actor known for his role as the Red Ranger in the 1990s, is one of 18 people accused of conspiracy to commit fraud.

In the federal indictment, Geiger, a native of McKean, was named one of 18 people accused of fraudulently receiving funds under the Salary Protection Program (PPP).

The Salary protection program began in March 2020, when former President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act, which was designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans suffering from the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Relevant small businesses and other organizations were able to apply for GPP loans to cover costs such as wages, mortgage interest, rent and utilities.

According to the indictment, the scheme was run by Michael Hill of Mineral Wells and Andrew Moran of Lewisville. The 18 defendants are alleged to have fraudulently obtained at least 16 loans totaling at least $ 3.5 million.

“In statements, the defendants claim that they have distorted essential information such as the true nature of their business, the number of employees and the amount of wages. Based on these material distortions, the SBA and other financial institutions have approved and issued loans to the defendants, ”said a press release from the Eastern District Attorney’s Office of Texas.

Here is the full list of 18 defendants:

  • Michael Levine Hill, aka “Tank”, 47, from Mineral Wells, Texas
  • Andrew Charles Moran, 43, of Lewisville, Texas
  • Peter Keawongfet, aka “Lil ‘Pete”, 34, from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
  • Ty Alan Burkhart, 34, of Frisk, Texas
  • Jason Lawrence Geiger, aka Austin St. John, aka Red Ranger, 47, from McKinney, Texas
  • Eric Reed Maraschia, aka “Phoenix Marcon”, 50, from Helen, Texas
  • Christopher Lee McElfrech, 43, of Frisk, Texas
  • Cord Dean Newman, 44, of Homos, Florida.
  • Elmer Omar Ayala, 45, of Midlatian, Texas
  • Gregory Fitzgerald Hatley Jr., 38, of Helen, Texas
  • Alexander Eric Carteson, 52, of Dallas, Texas
  • Arthur Attic Pongtaratic, 33, of Carolton, Texas
  • Miles Justin Urias, 34, of Richardson, Texas
  • Fabian S. Hernandez, 44, of Lake Alfred, Florida.
  • Daniel Lee Warren, 33, address unknown
  • Raja Bensell, 49, of Allen, Texas
  • Hadi Mohamed Taffal, 50, of Helen, Texas
  • Jonathan James Spencer, aka Spence, 33, of Roulette, Texas

Geiger played the original Red Power Ranger in the 1990s. Geiger was supposed to visit Des Moines Con over the weekend, but on May 18th the event is posted on his Facebook:

“Due to unforeseen personal commitments Austin St. John is unable to attend Des Moines Con this weekend. He apologizes and loves everyone who is looking forward to meeting him. Austin plans to be here to meet all of his fans in 2023 ».

According to the indictment, each of the accused faces up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted.


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