Nolan v. State, 213 Md. 298 (1957)

Case Name: Nolan v. State
Citation: 213 Md. 298 (1957)

Facts: Nolan was convicted of embezzlement but appealed because he believed he should have only been charged with theft. Nolan worked for a loan and collection company. As customers made payments, they were placed in the cash drawer and at the end of the day, Nolan would take some of the cash. Nolan’s accomplice, who prepared the report of daily cash receipts would then recompute the adding tapes to equal the remaining cash.

State’s argument/Concurring Opinion: The Maryland Code only requires that the defendant be employed by the master, the defendant took the money into his own possession for and on behalf of his employer, and then he fraudulently appropriated it to his own use; the evidence seem to establish these elements to the satisfaction of the jury.

Defendant’s argument: Nolan did not take the money until it had been placed in the cash drawer and balanced at the end of the day. He only took the goods out of the owner’s possession which constitutes larceny, not embezzlement.

Holding: Reversed and remanded.

Concurring: Justice Prescott argued that the majority made the distinction that the offense was larceny and not embezzlement because the money went into the drawers before its fraudulent conversion. This decision, he argues, seems to place the law in an unfortunate and somewhat indefensible position.

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