Trial delayed for Tricia Derges, the Missouri legislator accused of selling fake stem cell treatments

Missouri

Dr. Tricia Derges listens to a patient’s chest at the Lift Up Springfield medical clinic in Springfield, Mo. Friday, Dec. 14, 2018. A federal grand jury has indicted the Missouri state legislator on fraud charges after she falsely promoted a treatment she was selling at medical clinics as containing stem cells that could treat various disease including COVID-19. (Nathan Papes/The Springfield News-Leader via AP)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Missourinet) – A Missouri State Representative’s federal court trial has been moved to June 2022.

The trial for Representative Tricia Derges, R-Nixa, was scheduled to begin Monday at a federal courthouse in southwest Missouri’s Springfield. Don Ledford, with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Missouri, says her attorney asked for a delay.

The reason given was a witness suffered a stroke and the attorney for Derges says the witness needs to be cross-examined during the trial.

That means Derges will still be under a federal indictment during all of the next legislative session.

Last March, a federal grand jury indictment alleges 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.

Charges from last February 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.

During a court appearance last March, Derges pled not guilty to all 23 charges. She has maintained her innocence from the beginning.

Derges, who is a licensed assistant physician, was elected to the Missouri House last November. In February, House Speaker Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, kicked Derges out of the Republican Caucus and removed her from all committees she was assigned to. Her office was relocated to a broom closet in the Missouri Capitol.

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