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People v. Williams

JANUARY 13, 1967.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

ANNIE L. WILLIAMS, A/K/A ANNIE WEBSTER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County; the Hon. JOHN S. GHENT, JR., Judge, presiding. Judgment of conviction affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE SEIDENFELD DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

Annie L. Williams, a/k/a Annie Webster, was charged in a four-count information with illegal receipt of public aid benefits. In a bench trial, she was found guilty on all counts and sentenced to a term of one year at Dwight Women's prison.

The defendant contends she was denied due process, arguing that she was convicted under a vague statute; and contends in the alternative that the information was legally insufficient. She also argues that the failure of the trial judge to require an answer to a question in a Bill of Particulars was error.

The statute under which defendant was convicted, being chapter 23, section 818 of the Illinois Revised Statutes (1965), provides in relevant part:

"Any person who by means of any false statement, willful misrepresentation, failure to notify the County Department of a change in status in respect to his property or need, or family composition, amount of income, money contributions and other support, from whatever source, for the purpose of preventing the denial, cancellation or suspension of his grant or a variation in the amount thereof, or other fraudulent device obtains or attempts to obtain or aids or abets any person to obtain old age assistance, assistance to the medically indigent aged, blind assistance . . . shall be fined not more than $1,000.00 or imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both."

The amended information charges the offense of receiving illegal public aid in violation of paragraph 818, chapter 23, Illinois Revised Statutes (1965) in four counts, as follows:

Count I.

". . . That she was unmarried, for the purpose of preventing the denial, cancellation or suspension of her grant or a variation in the amount thereof. . ."

Count II.

". . . that she, while receiving aid to dependent children willfully failed to notify the Winnebago County Department of Public Aid of a change in status with respect to her family composition, to-wit: That she was married to Leon Webster, for the purpose of preventing the denial, cancellation, or suspension of her grant or a variation in the amount thereof. . ."

Count III.

". . . willfully failed to notify the Winnebago County Department of Public Aid of a change in status in respect to her property, to-wit: That she owned a 1958 Buick automobile, for the purpose of preventing the denial, cancellation, or suspension of her grant or a variation in the amount thereof. . ."

Count IV.

". . . willfully failed to notify the Winnebago County Department of Public Aid of a change in status in respect to her property, to-wit: That she had a savings account in the Illinois National Bank & Trust Co. of Rockford, Illinois, for the purpose of preventing the denial, ...


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