A San Mateo County judge on May 26 denied a motion by attorneys defending Portola Valley resident and restaurateur Russell Deutsch to suppress as evidence a discovery by investigators of over $600,000 in cash in Mr. Deutsch's house.
The investigators from the Board of Equalization, the agency that collects taxes in California, searched Mr. Deutsch's house after prosecutors accused him of not turning over to the state $950,628 in sales tax revenues over a period of eight years.
A jury trial is set for Monday, June 13.
The search warrant "didn't say they wanted to search for money," Christian Picone, Mr. Deutsch's defense attorney, told the Almanac. "The (department) did not identify cash as one of the items they wanted to search for."
The warrant did specify a search for records, and the investigators confiscated computers and paper records, Mr. Picone said.
District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe describes Mr. Deutsch as the CEO, CFO, director and agent for a corporation that does business as Old Port Lobster Shack, Lobster Shack and Portola Valley Lobster Shack.
Mr. Deutsch has pleaded not guilty to all charges, prosecutors said.
He has been out of custody on a bail of $290,000.
Mr. Picone has taken issue with the figure of $600,000 in cash alleged by prosecutors. After the search of Mr. Deutsch's home and the discovery of the cash there, the Board of Equalization gave Mr. Deutsch a receipt for $493,457.83, Mr. Picone said.
Two days later, Mr. Picone said, the board gave Mr. Deutsch a revised receipt for $488,367.83, a difference of $5,000.
"There's nothing illegal about having cash," Mr. Picone said. "I'm not aware of any allegation that these funds were unreported income."