Missouri Republican lawmaker resigns after $900K COVID medical clinic fraud scheme conviction

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A Missouri Republican state representative has resigned days immediately after becoming convicted of 22 federal rates, the bulk of those offenses becoming joined to a $900,000 COVID-19 fraud plan operated by healthcare clinics and a non-gain at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. 

Condition Rep. Tricia Derges stepped down Friday from her seat representing Christian County (District 140) in the Missouri Household of Reps, KOLR reported. 

Her resignation came 4 days following she was convicted on June 28 by a federal trial jury for what prosecutors described as a nearly $900,000 COVID-19 fraud plan, as properly as a independent $200,000 fraud scheme in which she created fake statements about a pretend stem cell procedure marketed by way of her clinics in southern Missouri, and for illegally furnishing prescription medicines to shoppers of individuals clinics.

The 64-12 months-outdated from Nixa, Mo., was discovered responsible of 10 counts of wire fraud, 10 counts of distributing medicine about the world-wide-web with no a valid prescription, and two counts of building bogus statements to a federal law enforcement agent, the Justice Office declared before last 7 days. 


Rep. Tricia Derges resigned Friday after a COVID fraud scheme conviction. 

Rep. Tricia Derges resigned Friday just after a COVID fraud scheme conviction. 
(Missouri Residence of Associates)

“This is an elected formal who stole income from the community, a purported humanitarian who cheated and lied to her sufferers, and a medical specialist who illegally distributed prescription drugs,” U.S. Legal professional Teresa Moore reported in a assertion past Tuesday. “She violated her posture of believe in to selfishly enrich herself at the expense of other people. But a jury of her friends, in a unanimous verdict, observed via her smokescreen of excuses and ridiculous statements, and now she will be held accountable for her felony conduct.”

In spite of her biography on the Missouri Residence of Associates saying she is “a medical health care provider and entrepreneur,” the DOJ pressured that Derges “is not a health practitioner but is licensed as an assistant physician.” 

JOPLIN, MO - JULY 2:  The Covid-19 testing site at the Walmart Supercenter in Joplin, Missouri on July 2, 2020. 

JOPLIN, MO – JULY 2:  The Covid-19 screening web site at the Walmart Supercenter in Joplin, Missouri on July 2, 2020. 
((Image by Terra Fondriest for The Washington Post by means of Getty Pictures).)

She operates 3 for-profit Ozark Valley Professional medical Clinic places in Springfield, Ozark, and Branson, Missouri, as perfectly as the non-profit company Elevate Up Another person Now, Inc., with a professional medical and dental clinic in Springfield, prosecutors said. Her formal Missouri Household of Representatives biography suggests the non-income is a “health care-dental-mental wellbeing mission clinic that offers treatment for the homeless, bad and veterans,” and that Derges “teaches healthcare pupils board evaluate classes for their USMLE licensing tests.” 

Concerning the COVID fraud scheme, prosecutors explained Derges attempted to acquire $900,000 in CARES Act money. She was really awarded $296,574 in CARES Act resources for Lift Up, even while although Carry Up did not deliver any COVID-19 screening solutions to its people and in fact, closed at the starting of the COVID-19 pandemic and remained shut from March to June 2020.

Derges fraudulently claimed Carry Up furnished COVID-19 testing and sought reimbursement for “COVID-19 eligible expenditures” that Raise Up experienced incurred. To support her declare, Derges presented invoices totaling $296,574 from Dynamic DNA for additional than 3,000 COVID-19 laboratory tests. 

Trace Robinson receives a coronavirus test at an Affinia testing site in St. Louis on Thursday, April 23, 2020. 

Trace Robinson gets a coronavirus check at an Affinia tests internet site in St. Louis on Thursday, April 23, 2020. 

Derges submitted the Dynamic DNA invoices as Elevate Up expenditures, despite the fact that they ended up essentially for screening finished at Derges’s for-gain Ozark Valley Medical Clinic, prosecutors explained. 

Ozark Valley Professional medical Center had presently gained payment from its consumers of about $517,000 for these COVID-19 tests. Ozark Valley Clinical Middle charged consumers, clients, or their patients’ companies close to $167 for each sample for its COVID-19 screening expert services. Derges concealed from Greene County that these COVID-19 assessments experienced by now been paid out for by other payors.

Prosecutors say Derges also promoted a stem mobile treatment that actually utilized amniotic fluid that did not comprise any stem cells. She advertised it online as a possible COVID remedy. 

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Derges administered amniotic fluid, which she falsely claimed contained stem cells, to patients who endured from, among other matters, tissue destruction, kidney condition, persistent obstructive pulmonary condition (COPD), Lyme ailment, and urinary incontinence. In an April 11, 2020, Facebook write-up, Derges wrote of amniotic fluid allograft: “This amazing treatment stands to offer a potential cure for COVID-19 clients that is harmless and pure.”

Derges also was convicted of 10 counts of distributing Oxycodone and Adderall above the net without having valid prescriptions.