Politics

Missouri state Rep. Tricia Derges resigns from office after being found guilty of COVID relief money scheme

A now-former Missouri state lawmaker and purported medical professional resigned from office this week after being found guilty of fraudulently accepting and using COVID-19 relief funds in a testing scheme in 2020.

A jury found GOP Rep. Tricia Derges guilty of 22 charges of fraud for applying for nearly $900,000 in CARES Act funding for a COVID-19 testing program by a nonprofit called Lift Up. However, the Department of Justice says the organization did not perform any COVID-19 testing.

The jury also found Derges guilty of further charges related to a separate scheme in which Derges illegally prescribed medications to patients and another in which she marketed a fraudulent stem cell research program.

Derges released her resignation letter this week but did not mention the fraud conviction in the letter. “It has truly been an honor to serve the citizens of the 140th District,” Derges wrote. “They are some of the finest people I have ever met. To be a part of the process that helped bring positive change to our community and to assist with many of the personal struggles of my constituents is something I will forever treasure.”

US Attorney Teresa Moore said in a statement, “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. She violated her position of trust to selfishly enrich herself at the expense of others. But a jury of her peers, in a unanimous verdict, saw through her smokescreen of excuses and ridiculous claims, and now she will be held accountable for her criminal behavior.”

The GOP has banned Derges from running for public office in the future.

ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: OZARKS FIRST

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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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