Red Power Ranger actor charged with salary protection fraud: NPR

The actor who played the Red Power Ranger in the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” series has been charged with conspiracy to fraud in connection with the federal paycheck protection program, officials said.

The FBI said Jason Lawrence Geiger, 47, of McKinney, Texas, is one of 19 defendants named in a federal indictment. Acting under the name Austin St. John, Geiger played Jason Lee Scott, the Red Power Ranger.

Jaeger was arrested Tuesday and remains in prison pending a hearing Monday before a federal judge in the Dallas suburb of Plano, according to court documents. His attorney, David Claudt of Dallas, said he has pleaded not guilty to the single charge against him and “intends to vigorously defend himself against this allegation.”

The Payroll Protection Program was part of the CARES Act designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans suffering from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement Thursday, federal prosecutors said the 19 defendants filed fraudulent applications for payroll protection benefits during the pandemic lockdown and used the proceeds of personal purchases and expenses. In all, the defendants were accused of taking at least 16 loans worth at least $3.5 million.

If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in federal prison.

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