SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- An elected Missouri state representative has been indicted by a federal grand jury for a fraud scheme in which she made false claims about a supposed stem cell treatment marketed through her clinics.
Patricia “Tricia” Ashton Derges, 63 of Nixa, Missouri, was charged in a 20-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Springfield.
“This defendant abused her privileged position to enrich herself through deception,” said U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison. “The indictment alleges she lied to her patients and she lied to federal agents. As an elected official and a health care provider, she deserves to be held to a high standard. This grand jury indictment exposes her deception and holds her accountable for her actions.”
The indictment was unsealed on Feb.1, following Derges’s initial court appearance.
The investigation began as a result of false or misleading statements made by Derges in a April 2020 interview with Ozarks Tonight.
Derges was elected in November 2020 as a Missouri state representative in District 140. Derges is not a physician, but is a licensed assistant physician.
“Ms. Derges knowingly provided false information and made false claims about the medical treatment she was providing, and these falsehoods may have significant consequences for the patients she served,” said Curt L. Muller, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.