SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Missouri Representative was found guilty of defrauding the government Tuesday.
Patricia Derges represented the Nixa area at the Missouri House of Representatives. A federal trial jury convicted her of fraudulently receiving about $300,000 in federal coronavirus aid for her nonprofit medical and dental clinic serving the poor, homeless, and uninsured. The funds Derges received were part of a $900,000 COVID-19 fraud scheme.
On Friday, July 1, Derges resigned from her seat in the house.
“This is an elected official who stole money from the public, a purported humanitarian who cheated and lied to her patients, and a medical professional who illegally distributed drugs,” said U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore.
Derges was found guilty of 10 counts of wire fraud, 10 counts of distributing drugs over the internet without a valid prescription, and two counts of making false statements to a federal law enforcement agent, according to a press release from the United States Department of Justice.
Derges’ sentencing date has not been scheduled. That sentencing hearing will be scheduled after a pre-sentence investigation. She faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison without parole.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the Springfield organization, called Lift Up, did not provide COVID-19 testing to its patients but Derges’ medical clinics did. Derges was accused of concealing the reimbursements her clinics had already received for those services.
Derges was also convicted of selling fake stem cell treatments at medical clinics she operated 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.