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Former MO lawmaker Tricia Derges is sentenced to 75 months in prison

Federal courthouse in Springfield, Missouri
Michele Skalicky
Federal courthouse in Springfield, Missouri

Derges was convicted last year of 10 counts of wire fraud, 10 counts of distributing drugs over the internet without a valid prescription and two counts of making false statements to a federal law enforcement agent.

Former Missouri lawmaker Patricia “Tricia” Derges has been sentenced to 75 months in federal prison.  

A jury found 64-year-old Derges of Nixa guilty in a trial last June of 10 counts of wire fraud, 10 counts of distributing drugs over the internet without a valid prescription and two counts of making false statements to a federal law enforcement agent.  

On Tuesday U.S. Western District Judge Brian C. Wimes sentenced Derges to 75 months and 60 months to be served concurrently. She was also ordered to pay restitution of $500,600.64 to her victims.  

In a statement Derges read before her sentence was announced, she talked about being bullied as a child and as an adult when she returned to school in her 50s. She asked the judge to consider her physical and mental health issues and to remember those whom she treated at her mission clinic, Lift Up Springfield. She said she was “truly sorry and remorseful.”  

Judge Wimes told Derges, while her work was admirable, he wasn’t sure it wasn’t a byproduct of her need for self adulation. And he said that when people are in significant pain, they are willing to do anything, “and you took 100 percent advantage of that.”  

Wimes was referring to a $200,000 fraud scheme in which she made false claims about a fake stem cell treatment marketed through her clinics in southwest Missouri.  

She also sought CARES Act funding for COVID-19 testing that had been provided and already paid for at her three for-profit Ozark Valley Medical Clinic locations in Springfield, Ozark and Branson. She was awarded $296,574 in CARES Act funds for Lift Up, which she said she needed for COVID-19 testing reimbursement. However, Lift Up did not provide COVID-19 testing services to its patients. She has since repaid most of the money.  

She surrendered her assistant physician’s license last June.  

Derges was elected to the District 140 (Christian County) Missouri House of Representatives seat in November 2020. She resigned after being found guilty last June.  

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.