Portola Valley: Former restaurateur avoids bail revocation


The attorney representing Russell Howard Deutsch, a former Portola Valley restaurateur who operated the Old Port Lobster Shack in Ladera and other restaurants, appeared in court on Oct. 25 to ask for more time to "get up to speed" on the case, according to Assistant District Attorney Al Serrato.

Deutsch, 59, has been out of jail on $290,000 bail. That bail bond was in danger of revocation on Oct. 19, when Criminal Presiding Judge Stephanie Garratt ruled that he had forfeited it by not showing up for a court hearing, or having his attorney Dek Ketchum show up. Garratt stayed the forfeiture for one week, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said in a report.

Deutsch pleaded not guilty in March 2016 to charges of tax evasion, grand theft and fraud, including failing to pay $950,628 in sales taxes owed to the state over an eight-year period. During a search of Mr. Deutsch's Portola Valley home, investigators found more than $600,000 in cash in addition to numerous business records, prosecutors said.

Ketchum reported that Deutsch is "still recovering from a medical procedure," Serrato said in an email.

In a report on that day's proceedings, Wagstaffe said Ketchum presented to the court a letter from a physician attending to Deutsch saying that Deutsch had injured himself, required surgery and needed three months of rehabilitation before appearing in court.

The judge declined to take that advice, Wagstaffe said. Deutsch's next court appearance is set for 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 28. Since he was arraigned in April 2016, judges have reset the date for his jury trial three times.


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