Patricia Derges, a Missouri state representative, has been indicted for allegedly selling fake stem cell treatments for several different diseases, including Covid-19.
Derges, 63, injected clients of Ozark Valley Medical Clinic with amniotic fluid that she claimed contained stem cells. According to the grand jury indictment that was unsealed on Monday, these “regenerative” treatments were actually acellular (sans stem cells).
The FBI also released a statement on Monday revealing that their investigation was launched after Derges made fraudulent claims that stem cells could treat Covid-19 while she was on local television in April.
“This defendant abused her privileged position to enrich herself through deception,” U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison said in a press conference on Monday. “The indictment alleges she lied to her patients and she lied to federal agents. As an elected official [of Missouri] and a health care provider, she deserves to be held to a high standard. This grand jury indictment exposed her deception and holds her accountable for her actions.”
Derges has been charged with eight counts of wire fraud after charging her patients for the fake stem cell treatment. Each of the eight counts includes a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In addition, the assistant physician is also facing two charges for making “materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent” statements to federal investigators last year about her amniotic fluid treatments. Each of these charges carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Aside from offering fake treatments, Derges also prescribed Adderall and Oxycodone to individuals online without providing a proper medical evaluation. She is currently facing 10 counts of distribution without a valid prescription and each of these counts come with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. In total, Derges is facing a 20-count indictment.
Derges has pleaded “not guilty” and her jury trial is set for March 22.