SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – State Rep. Tricia Derges is expected to take the stand in her own defense early next week in the federal fraud case against her.
A federal court spokesman said on Thursday during the eighth day of Derges’ trial that she likely will testify Monday and closing arguments are expected on Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning.
Derges is accused of defrauding the government and patients at her medical clinics from 2018 to 2020, illegally prescribing narcotics, and lying to federal agents.
During their portion of the trial, prosecutor called witnesses including patients, a DNA expert and an FBI agent.
Defense arguments are to begin when prosecution ends.
Derges represents the Nixa area at the Missouri House of Representatives. A federal grand jury indictment alleges she 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 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.
Other charges 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.