Missouri lawmaker indicted for stem cell fraud scheme

Missouri State Capitol Building

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A federal grand jury has indicted a Missouri state legislator on fraud charges after she falsely promoted a treatment she was selling at medical clinics as containing stem cells that could treat various diseases including COVID-19.

The 20-count indictment unsealed Monday also accuses 63-year-old Rep. Tricia Derges, a Republican from Nixa, Missouri, of illegally providing prescription drugs to clients and making false statements to federal agents investigating the case. Derges and her defense attorney did not immediately respond to phone and email messages seeking comment. She was released on her own recognizance after making an initial court appearance.