COVID Fraud is Not Safe or Natural!

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A federal jury, on June 21, 2022, found Missouri Rep. Patricia Derges guilty of multiple counts of health care fraud, including defrauding Green County of federal money and marketing bogus stem cell treatments.

Derges, an assistant physician, was elected in November 2020 to represent Christian County, MO. She operates Ozark Valley Medical Clinic in three locations: Springfield, Ozark and Branson, Missouri.  Derges also operates a nonprofit called Lift Up Someone Today, Inc., with a medical and dental clinic in Springfield.

Prosecutors accused Derges, 63, of fraudulently obtaining more than $589,000 in federal CARES Act money for COVID-19 testing, even though she already had been reimbursed about $1 million by patients and patients’ employers.

Prosecutors also charged that she obtained nearly $297,000 in CARES Act funds for Lift Up Somebody Today, even though Lift Up didn’t provide COVID-19 testing services and closed its medical clinic at the beginning of the pandemic.

Derges’ moto was “Saving lives, limbs, and improving health.”  AND fruad!  Derges was also convicted of purchasing amniotic fluid from the University of Utah and marketing it under the name Regenerative Biologics and falsely claimed contained stem cells.  The shots were given to patients who suffered a wide range of ailments, including tissue damage, kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Lyme disease, erectile dysfunction, and urinary incontinence.  Derges even used it as a supposed cure for COVID-19, claiming it was “safe and natural.”

While Derges maintained her innocence right to the very end, she turned down several plea deals and refused to step down from her elected position.  Missouri House was required to enforce her forfeit.  Patricia Derges remains free until her sentencing hearing, which is at least four months away.

Well done by the FBI, Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, the DEA and the Missouri Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in their investigation of this case.

Today’s Fraud of the Day was based on an article, posted by Ozarks First, on July 3, 2022

Rep. Tricia Derges found Guilty on all counts

By Emilee Kuschell, Ozarks First

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Missouri Representative was found guilty of defrauding the government Tuesday.

Patricia Derges represented the Nixa area at the Missouri House of Representatives. A federal trial jury convicted her of fraudulently receiving about $300,000 in federal coronavirus aid for her nonprofit medical and dental clinic serving the poor, homeless, and uninsured. The funds Derges received were part of a $900,000 COVID-19 fraud scheme.

On Friday, July 1, Derges resigned from her seat in the house.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.