State lawmaker facing fraud charges named in new lawsuit

May 24, 2022 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A state lawmaker charged with fraud involving medical treatments has been sued by a patient over the care she prescribed for him to relieve back pain.

Rep. Tricia Derges, a Nixa Republican, is scheduled to go on trial in federal court next month on charges that she sold fake stem cell treatments, fraudulently used pandemic aid and wrote illegal prescriptions.

In a lawsuit filed in state court this month, a patient alleges Derges, an assistant physician, used amniotic fluid injections to treat his back pain at her clinic in Springfield in 2020. He alleges he was charged over $6,000 for treatments that did not help, the Springfield News-Leader reported.

Derges’ attorney, Al Watkins, said the plaintiff had no problems with his treatment until the federal indictment was publicized, and called the allegations “absolutely erroneous.”

In a federal indictment filed last year, Derges is accused of claiming nearly $900,000 in federal payments for COVID-19 treatments that were not performed or had already been performed. It also alleged that she promoted amniotic fluid as a treatment for COVID-19 and other diseases by falsely claiming it contained stem cells.

In February, Derges’ narcotics license was placed on probation for three years.