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STATE v. JONES
March 2, 1990.
STATE OF KANSAS, Appellee,
LAUFRANZE KEOKA JONES, Appellant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
Laufranze Keoka Jones was convicted in a jury trial of two
counts of welfare fraud (K.S.A. 39-720), one count of making a
false writing (K.S.A. 21-3711), and one count of felony theft
(K.S.A. 21-3701). On appeal, the Court of Appeals: (1) vacated
one count of welfare fraud as being barred by the statute of
limitations; (2) reversed and remanded one count of welfare
fraud; and (3) affirmed the remaining two convictions. State v.
Jones, 13 Kan. App. 2d 520, 775 P.2d 183 (1989). We granted
defendant's petition for review to consider the implications of
State v. Wilcox, 245 Kan. 76, 775 P.2d 177 (1989), on the two
convictions which were affirmed. The Wilcox opinion was filed
the same day as was the Court of Appeals opinion herein (May 26,
In Wilcox, the defendant was charged with two counts of
making a false writing. The purpose and result of the false
writings were to enable Wilcox to receive more welfare funds from
the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) than
those to which she was entitled. We held that K.S.A. 39-720 was a
specific statute dealing with the particular wrongful acts of
false writing with which Wilcox was accused of committing and
that she should have been prosecuted under that statute. K.S.A.
"Any person who obtains or attempts to obtain, or
aids or abets any other person to obtain, by means of
a willfully false statement or representation, or by
impersonation, collusion, or other fraudulent device,
assistance to which the applicant or client is not
entitled, shall be guilty of the crime of theft, as
defined by K.S.A. 21-3701; and he shall be required
to remit to the secretary the amount of any
assistance given him under such fraudulent act. In
any civil action for the recovery of assistance on
the grounds the assistance was fraudulently obtained,
proof that the recipient of the assistance possesses
or did possess resources which does or would have
rendered him ineligible to receive such assistance
shall be deemed prima facie evidence that such
assistance was fraudulently obtained."
In the case before us, the two counts of welfare fraud (Counts
I and II) involve the wrongful receipt of welfare monies from
SRS. The false writing and theft convictions (Counts III and IV)
involve the wrongful receipt of monies under the Section 8 rental
assistance program funded by the United States Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and administered by the
Kansas City, Kansas, Housing Authority. These monies came from
the federal government and not through SRS.
In State v. Micheaux, 242 Kan. 192, 200, 747 P.2d 784 (1987),
we stated "It is clear from the history of K.S.A. 39-720 that
that statute was enacted to create an independent crime of
welfare fraud to be utilized as a means of enforcing the Social
Welfare Act which was enacted by the Kansas Legislature in 1937."
K.S.A. 39-720 requires that reimbursement be made to the
Secretary of SRS and is a part of the Social Welfare Act, K.S.A.
39-701 et seq. Clearly, the application of K.S.A. 39-720 is
limited to the wrongful receipt of or attempt to receive
assistance from SRS. As Counts III and IV do not involve SRS
assistance, K.S.A. 39-720 is not a bar to the prosecutions herein
under the general statutes, K.S.A. 21-3711 and K.S.A. 21-3701.
As previously stated, we granted review herein only to
determine the one issue relative to the applicability of K.S.A.
39-720 to Counts III and IV in light of our State v. Wilcox,
245 Kan. 76, opinion. Other issues for which review was sought,
including limitation on defense counsel's cross-examination and
sufficiency of the evidence, were adequately discussed and
disposed of by the Court of Appeals and will not be dealt with
The Court of Appeals' decision affirming in part, reversing in
part, and vacating in part the judgment of the district court is
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