News

Old Port Lobster Shack owner sentenced for failing to pay nearly $1M in taxes

Russell Howard Deutsch will serve six months under electronic home monitoring

A 60-year-old Portola Valley man who failed to pay nearly $1 million in state taxes has been sentenced to six months in county jail with five years of supervised probation, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Old Port Lobster Shack owner Russell Howard Deutsch, who pleaded no contest to felony tax evasion and grand theft in February, was sentenced in a virtual hearing Aug. 19. Prosecutors had asked the court to impose a one-year sentence in county jail, while the probation department recommended six months in jail and the defense asked for two months' home detention, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Judge Susan Greenberg determined the county jail time could be served on electronic home monitoring, with a stay on the monitoring until Sept. 19, Wagstaffe said.

Deutsch is also subject to search and seizure, fines and fees, and genetic marker testing, and cannot possess dangerous weapons or ammunition.

In March 2016, Deutsch initially pleaded not guilty to charges of tax evasion, grand theft and fraud, including failing to pay $950,628 in sales taxes owed to the state over eight years. During a search of his home at the time, investigators found over $600,000 in cash, according to the District Attorney's Office. A defense motion to return the cash found at his home was denied in 2018.

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Greenberg said the "lenient" plea deal was based on Deutsch's age, significant health issues and lack of any criminal history, according to the District Attorney's Office. The DA's office had asked for three years and four months in state prison.

Deutsch operated seafood restaurants in Portola Valley, Redwood City and San Jose. He opened the first Old Port Lobster Shack in Redwood City in 2006 and later expanded to Ladera, Napa and San Jose. The Ladera location and a relocated Redwood City restaurant remain open.

The case was continued to Nov. 6 for a restitution hearing. Deutsch remains out of custody on $290,000 bail.

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Old Port Lobster Shack owner sentenced for failing to pay nearly $1M in taxes

Russell Howard Deutsch will serve six months under electronic home monitoring

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 11:43 am

A 60-year-old Portola Valley man who failed to pay nearly $1 million in state taxes has been sentenced to six months in county jail with five years of supervised probation, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Old Port Lobster Shack owner Russell Howard Deutsch, who pleaded no contest to felony tax evasion and grand theft in February, was sentenced in a virtual hearing Aug. 19. Prosecutors had asked the court to impose a one-year sentence in county jail, while the probation department recommended six months in jail and the defense asked for two months' home detention, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Judge Susan Greenberg determined the county jail time could be served on electronic home monitoring, with a stay on the monitoring until Sept. 19, Wagstaffe said.

Deutsch is also subject to search and seizure, fines and fees, and genetic marker testing, and cannot possess dangerous weapons or ammunition.

In March 2016, Deutsch initially pleaded not guilty to charges of tax evasion, grand theft and fraud, including failing to pay $950,628 in sales taxes owed to the state over eight years. During a search of his home at the time, investigators found over $600,000 in cash, according to the District Attorney's Office. A defense motion to return the cash found at his home was denied in 2018.

Greenberg said the "lenient" plea deal was based on Deutsch's age, significant health issues and lack of any criminal history, according to the District Attorney's Office. The DA's office had asked for three years and four months in state prison.

Deutsch operated seafood restaurants in Portola Valley, Redwood City and San Jose. He opened the first Old Port Lobster Shack in Redwood City in 2006 and later expanded to Ladera, Napa and San Jose. The Ladera location and a relocated Redwood City restaurant remain open.

The case was continued to Nov. 6 for a restitution hearing. Deutsch remains out of custody on $290,000 bail.

Comments

Ask questions from the place of your heart.
Registered user
Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 11, 2020 at 12:36 pm
Ask questions from the place of your heart., Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
Registered user
on Sep 11, 2020 at 12:36 pm
6 people like this

Just a question to ponder. Don't get mean to one another please. And do NOT make this political. It's NOT political.
If a person robbed a house or store of $1,000,000 of merchandise, what sentence would they get?


Brian
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 11, 2020 at 1:58 pm
Brian, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on Sep 11, 2020 at 1:58 pm
4 people like this

unfortunately everything these days comes down to politics. but to answer your question, he did not rob (I am assuming you mean burglarize) a house or store. He failed to pay taxes. Yes this is bad but it is not a violent act (burglary and robbery both impact the victims very negatively). He deserves punishment and hopefully in addition to the $950,628 in taxes he failed to pay they also levy interest and penalties as a deterrent for others. If he were required to pay a total of $2 million that would be fair, even if it required him to liquidate his assets. As the government has already acquired $600,000 from seizure of cash in his house that would only leave $1.4 million to pay back.


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