The trial for State Representative Tricia Derges, R-Nixa, begins Monday at a federal courthouse in southwest Missouri’s Springfield.
A 2021 federal grand jury indictment alleges that Derges fraudulently received about $300,000 in federal coronavirus aid for her nonprofit medical and dental clinic serving the poor, homeless, and uninsured. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the Springfield organization, called Lift Up, did not provide COVID-19 testing to its patients but her medical clinics did. Derges is accused of concealing the reimbursements her clinics had already received for those services.
Other 2021 charges allege that Derges sold fake stem cell treatments at medical clinics she operates in Springfield, Branson, and Ozark – a scheme totaling about $200,000. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Derges was actually giving a sterile amniotic fluid to patients who suffered from, among other things, tissue damage, kidney disease, COPD, Lyme disease, erectile dysfunction, and urinary incontinence.
She is accused of scheming victims from 2018 to 2020, illegally prescribing narcotics, and lying to federal agents.
The investigation began after she gave false or misleading statements in April 2020 to a Springfield television station about potentially using stem cells to treat COVID-19.
Derges has maintained her innocence and has refused calls by House Republican leadership to resign. Earlier this year, the Missouri Republican Party refused to take a required filing fee from Derges to allow her to run for office again.
Derges, who is a licensed assistant physician, was elected to the Missouri House in November 2020.
Jury selection is expected to take up the bulk of Monday’s work. Don Ledford, with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri tells Missourinet the trial is scheduled to last two weeks.
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