12:00 PM PT -- A statement was posted on Austin St. John's Instagram, saying he's 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, the actor who played the Red Power Ranger in the 90s TV series, has had his house raided by the feds and he's now under arrest in a massive federal criminal case.
One of St. John's neighbors tells TMZ ... approximately 15 FBI agents in tactical gear rolled up to St. John's home Thursday at 7 AM in Tahoe Suburbans in an upscale neighborhood in McKinney, Texas ... brandishing what looked like AR-15s as they approached his porch.
They entered the home and when they came out they had a plus 1 -- St. John in handcuffs.
Turns out there was a massive federal indictment involving 18 people who have now been charged with fraud. The indictment alleges St. John was part of a scheme to defraud the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program ... that's the program designed to help small businesses affected by COVID.
St. John allegedly got 16 loans, totaling $3.5 million, which he used for personal purchases and not for the intended purpose. Even if it was used for the intended purpose, the feds claim it was obtained fraudulently.
St. John played Jason Lee Scott in the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers," which launched his career in 1993. He left the show in its second season but came back from time to time.
BTW ... there are other Power Rangers who got in a legal mess ... Ricardo Medina Jr., who starred in "Power Rangers Wild Force," was convicted of manslaughter in 2017 and sentenced to 6 years for stabbing his roommate with a sword.
As for St. John, if convicted he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.