A Closter man admitted in federal court Wednesday that he produced and sold bogus massage therapy training certificates for use by prostitutes – some of them to a former Westwood and Ridgewood councilman who later committed double suicide with his wife.
Naresh Rane, 64, owned and operated Axiom Healthcare Academy on Knickerbocker Road, 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,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
Rane said he gave 10 of the bogus certificates to former Westwood and Ridgewood councilman Bob Miller.
Two years ago, Miller admitted in federal court that he, in turn, sold them to prostitutes working in different massage parlors located in Passaic, Hudson, Union and Middlesex Counties.
Miller, who was a Ridgewood councilman from 1996 to 1998, resigned from the Westwood Council in July 2015 after seven years.
Nearly a year later, his and his wife's bodies were found in their Westwood home. Miller, 67, and his 59-year-old wife, Aecha, had killed themselves, authorities said.
Rane admitted in U.S. District Court in Trenton on Wednesday that he knew the documents he was producing and selling were used to disguise prostitution activities as legitimate massage services.
Senior U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson scheduled sentencing for Oct. 2.
Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI with the investigation leading to the guilty plea, secured by Senior Litigation Counsel Mark J. McCarren of his Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
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