Derges convicted of 22 counts
Springfield, Mo. – Rep. Tricia Derges, R-Nixa, was found guilty of 22 charges brought by federal prosecutors on Tuesday.
Charges against the state representative included wire fraud, illegal distribution of controlled substances and lying to federal investigators.
Derges has four medical clinics in southwestern Missouri. Lift Up Springfield, his only nonprofit clinic, received nearly $300,000 in CARES Act reimbursement for COVID-19 testing. However, Lift Up did not provide any COVID-19 testing and was closed for the first three months of the pandemic.
Derges had already received reimbursement for his three for-profit clinics, Ozark Valley Medical Clinics, which have locations in Springfield, Branson and Ozark. These clinics were charging for COVID-19 tests, about $170 per test.
In total, the Ozark Valley Medical Clinic has earned more than half a million dollars from COVID-19 testing, the Springfield News-Leader reported.
Derges also falsely advertised stem cell injections, instead injecting his patients with sterile amniotic fluid to treat pain and claiming the treatments could make a person resistant to COVID-19.
Derges was exiled from the House at the time of her indictment, stripped of her subcommittee assignments and removed from the House Republican Caucus in 2021.
Nixa’s legislator adamantly maintained her innocence, rejecting multiple plea deals until the outcome of her trial.
“Regenerative medicine is real, used daily around the world because it works: because it simply uses what God created in our bodies: to relieve pain and often help people avoid dangerous and expensive surgeries” , Derges said in a Facebook post asking for help ahead of his trial.
“It is possible to provide good medical care to people without bankrupting them or keeping them on treatment for a lifetime: just as my model has managed to do in my mission clinics. Saving lives, limbs and improving health.
Derges has retained supporters throughout the investigation, building on his image as a prominent local medical figure who provides health care to the underserved.
Featured Image: Rep. Tricia Derges, Facebook.