Federal trial for Christian County State Representative Tricia Derges begins; jury selected
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Jury selection began Monday for the federal fraud trial against Christian County State Rep. Dr. Patricia Derges.
Dr. Tricia Derges of Nixa faces a 23-count superseding indictment, which was returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Springfield on March 23, 2021. The US Attorney’s office says Derges lied about stem cell treatments at her healthcare clinic and illegally provided prescription drugs.
The federal indictment charges Derges with:
- Three counts of COVID-19 fraud
- Eight counts of wire fraud related to five specific victims
- Ten counts of distributing Oxycodone and Adderall over the internet without valid prescriptions
- Two counts of making false statements to federal agents investigating the case in May 2020
On Monday, Judge Brian Wimes asked questions of the potential jurors in front of the prosecution and defense. He delayed questioning for a short time, pushing opening statements to Tuesday.
Federal prosecutors say Dr. Derges wrote electronic prescriptions for Oxycodone and Adderall over the internet without in-person medical evaluations. They also claim she obtained amniotic fluid and claimed it contained stem cells. The prosecutors will argue it did not have stem cells. And they say she sought and received $300,000 in pandemic funds for COVID-19 testing. Investigators say the clients had already paid for the testing.
A group of protestors, volunteers from her clinic, voiced opposition to the investigation, claiming Dr. Derges is innocent.
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