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Indian-origin man pleads guilty to selling fake massage therapy training certificates in US


Press Trust of India New York
An Indian-origin man in the US has pleaded guilty to producing and selling fraudulent massage therapy training certificates for several New Jersey parlours that engaged in prostitution.
Naresh Rane, 64, from New Jersey pleaded guilty before senior US District Judge Anne Thompson to an indictment charging him with knowingly and intentionally using and causing the use of facilities in interstate commerce to promote, manage, establish and facilitate the business of prostitution in violation of the New Jersey law.
According to documents filed in the case, Rane owned and operated Axiom Healthcare Academy, which purported to provide classes in massage therapy training.
Rane showed himself as a businessman who, for a fee that ranged from USD 1,000 to USD 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.
Between November 2013 and March 2014, Rane provided 10 fraudulent massage therapy training certificates and transcripts to a former New Jersey councilman who then gave them to sex workers working in different massage parlours located in Union, Passaic, Hudson and Middlesex Counties in New Jersey.
Rane admitted 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 USD 250,000 fine.
Sentencing is scheduled for October this year.

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First Published: Jun 29 2018 | 10:25 AM IST

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