from the Judgment of Sentence Entered July 24, 2018 In the
Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County Criminal Division
at No(s): CP-21-CR-0003747-2016
BEFORE: BOWES, J., McLAUGHLIN, J., and STRASSBURGER [*] , J.
K. St. Rose appeals from the judgment of sentence following
her jury trial conviction for obtaining public welfare funds
by misrepresentation ("welfare fraud"), 62 P.S.
§ 481(a). St. Rose argues the trial court erred in
instructing the jury as to the elements of the crime. We
trial court set forth the following factual history:
On December 17, 2012, [St. Rose] had a face-to-face
appointment with a county benefits eligibility specialist in
order to apply for childcare assistance. At that time, she
received information on her rights and responsibilities. The
information included notification concerning her duty to
report changes in her circumstances. The specialist
emphasized that this duty obligated [St. Rose] to report,
among other things, any changes in her hours of employment or
employment status. On January 2, 2013, [St. Rose's]
childcare assistance was terminated because her status
changed to unemployed.
In September of 2013, [St. Rose] began working at MedStaffers
as a Home Health Aide ["HHA"]. Her new employment
allowed her to reapply for childcare assistance, which she
did via a phone interview with the benefits eligibility
specialist. Again, [St. Rose] was notified of her duty to
report any changes in her employment. As part of the yearly
benefits renewal process, the eligibility specialist
contacted [St. Rose] to update her benefits application on
January 2, 2014. During that recertification call, the
specialist reviewed the questions on the application. She
specifically asked [St. Rose] if the employment information
was correct. [St. Rose] confirmed that she was still working
at MedStaffers as an HHA. She also confirmed the daycare
provider that she was using for her childcare. As a result of
the information, the specialist found that [St. Rose] still
qualified for childcare assistance.
[St. Rose] continued to receive the childcare assistance for
her MedStaffers job until she filed to reopen her cash
benefits through the County Assistance Office around June of
2014. At that time, the eligibility specialist realized that
[St. Rose] was no longer working for her reported employer.
When the specialist looked into [St. Rose's] employment
records at MedStaffers, she learned that [St. Rose] had been
terminated from her position with the company on October 25,
2013, months prior to the 2014 recertification.
At trial, the eligibility specialist testified about the
benefits application process and her experiences with [St.
Rose's] case. The human resources director from
MedStaffers also testified and confirmed that [St. Rose] had
been terminated from her employment on October 25, 2013.
Additionally, the operator of the daycare that cared for [St.
Rose's] children testified that [St. Rose] continued to
use the daycare after October 25, 2013. He provided the
daycare's invoices for [St. Rose's] three children
from October 2013 through June 2014. He also testified that
he had an independent recollection of [St. Rose's]
children being at the daycare during that time.
Court Opinion, filed Nov. 13, 2018, at 1-3 (footnotes and
citations to record omitted).
Rose requested the following instruction as to the elements
of welfare fraud:
The defendant has been charged with welfare fraud. To find
the defendant guilty of this offense, you must find that the
following elements have been proven beyond a reasonable
First, that the defendant made a false statement or
misrepresentation [or withheld information],
Second, that the information provided [or withheld]
was material to that agency's determination in approving
or disapproving a ...