Former State Rep. Tricia Derges has been sentenced to six years and three months in federal prison without parole. U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes also ordered Derges to pay $500,600 in restitution to her victims.
Today’s sentencing is in connection to a nearly $900,000 COVID-19 fraud scheme, as well as a separate $200,000 fraud scheme in which she made false claims about a fake stem cell treatment offered at her clinics in southern Missouri. Prosecutors also say she illegally provided prescription drugs to clients of those clinics and lied to federal agents.
Last July, a federal jury convicted the Republican, from southwest Missouri’s Nixa, on 22 counts, including wire fraud, illegal distribution of controlled substances and making false statements to investigators.
She sold bogus stem cell treatments to patients who suffered from a variety of health conditions. Then-U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison said 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.
Prosecutors say she schemed victims from 2018 to 2020.
The investigation began after she gave false or misleading statements in April 2020 to Springfield television station KYTV about potentially using stem cells to treat COVID-19.
“This disgraced health care professional exploited her patients, some with terminal illnesses, who came to her for medical care,” U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore said after today’s sentencing. “This disgraced former public official exploited her constituents as the community struggled during the Covid-19 pandemic by stealing public funds. She lied to her patients, to her community, and to federal agents. Today’s sentence holds her accountable for her fraud and deceit.”
Derges was convicted of three counts of wire fraud related to her attempt to fraudulently receive nearly $900,000 in CARES Act funds for her businesses.
She resigned last July, after the federal jury found her guilty of the felony charges.
Missouri House Republican Leadership booted Derges from her committee assignments after Derges was first indicted in 2021. Her office was relocated to a location the size of a broom closet in the basement of the Missouri Capitol.
Derges was elected to the Missouri House in November 2020.
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