Palo Alto man 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 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.

Minskoff had apparently suffered a mental breakdown, 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.


Like this comment
Posted by nonsmoker
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Sad to read about a doctor convicted of arson, but even sadder is the fact he owns a business promoting e-cigarettes.

Like this comment
Posted by mug shot
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 1, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Mug shot of the perp: Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by PatSayJack
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Well here is his web site promoting his vaporizers.
Web Link
His vaporizer can also be used with loose leaf products. So maybe he has been smoking something else?

Like this comment
Posted by marywanna
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Feb 2, 2014 at 1:29 pm

marijuana is safer than anything in the cvs or any pharmacy. you're being lied to and yoiu don't mind! typical lemming behavior.

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