Bergen County Man Admits Producing Phony Massage Therapy Training Certificates for Prostitution Businesses
A Closter man today admitted producing and selling fraudulent massage therapy training certificates for use in various New Jersey massage parlors that engaged in prostitution, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
According to officials, Naresh Rane, 64, pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson to Count 1 of an indictment charging him with knowingly and intentionally using and causing the use of facilities in interstate commerce to promote, manage, establish, carry on, and facilitate the business of prostitution in violation of New Jersey law.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Rane owned and operated Axiom Healthcare Academy, which purported to provide classes in massage therapy training. Rane held himself out as a businessman who, for a fee that ranged from $1,000 to $2,600, could provide massage therapy training certificates to anyone who wished to obtain a massage license without the required training. Rane was also willing to provide phony transcripts listing classes and grades.
Authorities say between November 2013 and March 2014, Rane provided 10 fraudulent massage therapy training certificates and transcripts to a former Westwood, New Jersey, councilman who then gave them to prostitutes working in different massage parlors located in Union, Passaic, Hudson and Middlesex Counties. Rane admitted today that he knew the documents he was producing and selling were used to disguise prostitution activities as legitimate massage services.
The charge to which Rane pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 2nd.