News


Doctor doesn't contest charge of setting firm on fire

Doctor could face up to six months in county jail for felony

A Palo Alto doctor pleaded no contest Thursday to a felony charge stemming from an attempt to set fire to his San Carlos e-cigarette business in December 2012, prosecutors said Friday.

Noah Mark Minskoff, 35, pleaded no contest to the felony of causing a fire in a structure, on condition of no state prison time and a maximum sentence of six months in county jail, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

The charge can be reduced to a misdemeanor halfway through successful completion of probation, Wagstaffe said.

On Dec. 15, 2012, San Mateo County deputies were called to Thermo Essence Technologies in San Carlos, Minskoff's e-cigarette business, and found the business had been vandalized and property inside set on fire, according to prosecutors.

Minskoff was on the scene and was taken into custody on a mental health hold, prosecutors said.

On Dec. 17, 2012, deputies responded again and found the floor of the business had been set on fire and ransacked, prosecutors said.

Minskoff was there and was again taken into custody on a mental health hold, Wagstaffe said.

Minskoff remains out of custody on $150,000 bail that is conditional upon him remaining in a residential psychiatric facility. He is scheduled to return to court on April 4 for sentencing.

— Bay City News Service

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