Springfield, Mo. — Rep. Tricia Derges, R-Nixa, was found guilty on 22 charges brought forward by federal prosecutors Tuesday.
Charges against the state Representative included wire fraud, illegal distribution of controlled substances and lying to federal investigators.
Derges owns four medical clinics in Southwest Missouri. Lift Up Springfield, her lone non-profit clinic, received nearly $300,000 in CARES Act reimbursement for COVID-19 testing. However, Lift Up did not provide any COVID-19 tests and was closed for the first three months of the pandemic.
Derges had already received reimbursement for her three for-profit clinics, Ozark Valley Medical Clinics, which have locations in Springfield, Branson and Ozark. Those clinics charged for COVID-19 tests, around $170 dollars per test.
All together, Ozark Valley Medical Clinic made over half a million dollars off of COVID-19 tests, the Springfield News-Leader reported.
Derges was also falsely advertising stem cell injections, instead injecting her patients with sterile amniotic fluid to treat pain and claimed the treatments could make one resistant to COVID-19.
Derges was exiled from the House at the time of her indictment, being stripped of her subcommittee assignments and removed from the House Republican Caucus in 2021.
The Nixa lawmaker has maintained her innocence unyieldingly, rejecting several plea deals along the way to the culmination of her trial.
“Regenerative medicine is real, used throughout the world on a daily basis because it works: because it simply utilizes what God created within our bodies: alleviating pain and many times helping people avoid dangerous and expensive surgeries,” Derges said in a Facebook post asking for support before her trial.
“It is possible to provide good medical care for people without bankrupting them or keeping them on a lifetime of medications: just as my template has been able to successfully do in my mission clinics. Saving lives, limbs and improving health.”
Derges has kept some supporters throughout the investigation, leaning on her image as a prominent local medical figure that provides health-care for the underserved.
Featured Image: Rep. Tricia Derges, Facebook.
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