Missouri lawmaker resigns from House after fraud conviction

Jul 2, 2022, 11:56 PM | Updated: Jul 3, 2022, 12:18 pm

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri legislator has resigned her seat after being convicted of falsely claiming she was giving patients stem cell treatments for COVID-19.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Sunday that Republican state Rep. Tricia Derges of Nixa sent her resignation letter to House Speaker Rob Vescovo on Friday.

She was convicted in June on 22 counts including wire fraud, illegal distribution of controlled substances and making false statements to investigators.

Federal prosecutors argued she claimed nearly $900,000 in federal funding for COVID-19 treatments that weren’t performed or had already been performed. They also alleged she promoted amniotic fluid as a COVID-19 treatment and other diseases by falsely claiming it contained stem cells.

Her narcotics license was placed on probation for three years in January. At the time, she refused to resign her House seat but was stripped of her committee assignments and barred from party caucus meetings. The state GOP prohibited her from running for reelection as a Republican this fall.

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Missouri lawmaker resigns from House after fraud conviction