Former TVA Vice President Indicted For Unlawful Financial Investments In Iran

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Federal agents arrested a former TVA vice president, Masoud Bajestani, 57, formerly of Chattanooga, as he arrived at the Atlanta international airport on a flight from Dubai Sunday morning. 

Bajestani was indicted on four felony charges by a federal grand jury in Knoxville on Dec. 4, 2012, for allegedly violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and making false statements to the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Bajestani appeared in court on Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley, Jr. and pleaded not guilty. The United States made a motion for Bajestani to be detained pending trial and a detention hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Knoxville.

According to the indictment on file with the U.S. District Court, Bajestani filed a false document with TVA in order to withdraw $1,500,000 from his deferred compensation account when he was employed as a vice president at the Watts Bar Unit II nuclear power plant during its construction phase. The indictment alleges that Bajestani then conspired with others and sent $600,000 of those funds to Iran for financial investment purposes. Economic sanctions have been imposed against Iran and it is unlawful to make financial investments in Iran without authorization from the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control.

The maximum possible penalty for each of Counts 2-3 of the indictment, which charge violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act in violation of Title 50, United States Code, Sections 1701-1706, is 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. The maximum possible penalties for Count 1 of the indictment, which charges conspiracy in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001, and Count 4 of the indictment, which charges false statements in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001, is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

This indictment is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service, Tennessee Valley Authority – Office of Inspector General, and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Theodore is representing the United States.

 

Marion County Woman Charged With TennCare Fraud

A Marion County woman is charged with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, which involves going from doctor to doctor in a short period of time to obtain prescription drugs, using TennCare as payment. The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of  Melysa McDaniel , 40, of Whitwell. ... (click for more)

UTC Tuition Increase Approved; 1.8 Percent Increase Is Lowest In More Than 30 Years

UTC students this fall will see the lowest tuition increase in more than 30 years. An increase of 1.8 percent marks the third consecutive year of record low tuition increases approved by the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees for the system’s campuses. For 2017-18, an in-state, full-time UTC undergraduate student will pay combined tuition and fees of $4,332 per semester, ... (click for more)

Tom Edd Wilson Was A Great Visionary

We want to add to the many heart-felt messages that have been expressed regarding the recent passing of Tom Edd Wilson, a truly great visionary.    While he made his mark on many local organizations, Tom Edd will always hold a special place in the hearts of those who worked closely with him at Erlanger.   We benefited greatly from his steady guidance, leadership ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Leaders Stand ‘Way Back’

Franklin McCallie, a former principal at Howard School and the maverick in one of Chattanooga’s finest families known for education, delivered an impassioned speech before the Hamilton County Commission on Wednesday. Sadly, his remarks came after the commissioners had passed the FY2018 budget that has no financial methodology for the Department of Education, much maligned in the ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC Moves Into First Place

Chattanooga FC is building steam, winners of two straight home matches, with two games remaining in the current home stand. Last Saturday, the boys in blue knocked off division leading Inter Nashville FC 2-1 thanks to some late game heroics from a Danny Reynolds free kick.  Tuesday  night, CFC opened the proverbial flood gates and scored 4 goals to beat Birmingham Hammers ... (click for more)

Cleveland High School Selects Joey Knox As Head Wrestling Coach

Cleveland High School has selected Joey Knox as the next head coach for the Blue Raider Wrestling program.  Coach Knox has been with the wrestling program as an assistant since 2013.  During his assistant coaching tenure, the team has secured six Team State Championships, including five individual State Champions and 20 State Medalists.    Cleveland High ... (click for more)