AUSTIN St John is best known for his portrayal of Jason Lee Scott in the hit 1990s show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
In May 2022, it was revealed that he would be facing fraud offence charges – alongside 17 others.
Who is Austin St John?
Austin St John was born Jason Lawrence Geiger in Roswell, New Mexico on September 19, 1974.
He was the son of US marine Steve Geigher and his wife Sharon, who also shared his brother Stephen.
St John’s first acting role proved to be his most successful when he was cast in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
The first instalment of the franchise debuted on Fox Kids in 1993.
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For his role he took the stage name Austin as homage to Steve Austin – a science fiction character in 1974’s Six Million Dollar Man.
He took inspiration from the fact that, like St’s John’s character, Austin too had a background in martial arts.
After eventually leaving the role during the series second run over a pay dispute, St John went onto to star in several other shows including Power Rangers spin offs.
His work to date has included movies such as A Walk with Grace and Monsters At Large.
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Why was Austin St John arrested?
Auston was arrested by police in May 2022 after being accused of taking part in a multi-million dollar stimulus fraud scheme.
The actor is one of 18 people named in a federal indictment, charged with violations of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in Texas.
According to the indictment, St John allegedly conspired in a scheme to create businesses or use existing ones to submit applications fraudulently to the Small Business Administration to get Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding.
It's alleged the defendants managed to obtain 16 loans or more and at least $3.5million.
Prosecutors claim St John and his co-defendants paid ringleaders of the scheme and spent cash on personal purchases.
A release from the Department of Justice in the Eastern District of Texas states 18 defendants have either been arrested or summoned for appearance before a federal magistrate judge
Who did Austin St John play in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers?
Austin St John was cast as teen superhero Jason Lee Scott in the inaugural series, playing the Red Ranger.
In the context of the show, the Red Ranger is usually the leader of the team, receives the most powerful weapons and possesses martial art skills.
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According to a 1994 interview, St John used to worked as a martial arts instructor, holding a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo, a first-degree black belt in Judo and a first-degree black belt in Kenpo.
He also published a book on the subject, Karate Warrior: A Beginner's Guide to Martial Arts, in 1996.
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