Press "Enter" to skip to content

Missouri Rep. Derges stripped of committee assignments after indictment

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Rep. Tricia Derges was stripped of her committee assignments after being indicted by a federal grand jury Monday for an alleged stem cell treatment scheme. 

Speaker Rob Vescovo removed Derges from the House Health and Mental Health Policy and Professional Registration and Licensing committees as well as the Special Committee on Small Business Monday per the House Journal

Stacie Bilyeu, her Springfield attorney, said she could not comment on whether Derges would resign from the House. 

Derges, 63, was charged with 20 counts ranging from wire fraud to making false statements to federal agents. Derges is licensed as an assistant physician — not a physician — and operates Ozark Valley Medical clinics in Branson, Ozark, and Springfield. She was first elected to serve as a Republican state representative for HD 140 in 2020. 

The indictment, unsealed Monday, alleged Derges wrote electronic prescriptions for oxycodone and Adderall and transmitted the drugs over the internet without having conducted in-person medical evaluations. 

Derges also allegedly obtained amniotic fluid and falsely claimed it contained “mesenchymal stem cells” during a seminar and in personal consultations. The amniotic fluid did not, however, contain any stem cells. Derges allegedly administered the amniotic fluid to patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney disease, and tissue damage, among other ailments. 

The indictment said Derges charged patients more than $191,000 in all for the amniotic fluid. 

Additionally, Derges faces two charges of making false statements to federal agents during the investigation in May 2020 regarding the use of the amniotic fluid and whether it included stem cells. 

She pleaded not guilty and was released on bond Monday. In since-deleted Facebook posts, Derges maintained her innocence. 

Rep. Wiley Price was also barred from serving on committees last month after he was formally censured by the House. The St. Louis Democrat was accused of having an “inappropriate relationship” with a House intern in addition to threatening a staff member early last year. He was also accused of lying to the House Ethics Committee and investigators during the probe. 

New GOP Rep. Rick Roeber also does not serve on committees this legislative session and has been barred from the House Republican Caucus. Roeber’s children, who are now adults, have alleged he physically and sexually assaulted them when they were younger.