Austin St. John, who played the Red Ranger in the hit '90s show Power Rangers, has been charged in an alleged scam of funds from the CARES Act for COVID relief.
The Eastern District of Texas U.S. Attorney's Office this week unsealed charges against St. John, who was born Jason Gieger, claiming he was among 18 people who allegedly obtained fraudulent Payment Protection Program loans to the tune of $3.5 million and kept the money.
The fraudulent loan applications said the funds were needed for utility payments, payroll and health benefits for their businesses affected by the pandemic.
"Instead, the defendants ... transferred money to their personal accounts, and spent the funds on various personal purchases," the authorities say.
The defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. If convicted, they each face up to 20 years in federal prison, the Department of Justice says.
COVID-19 relief scams have cost the government -- and thusly, American taxpayers -- hundreds of millions of dollars since the pandemic began.