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.

 


Corker, Alexander, Perdue Back Launch Of Tax Reform Effort

Senators Bob Corker, Lamar Alexander and David Perdue were among those voting for a budget resolution that carries the procedural tools requested by Senate leadership to kick-start the legislative process on tax reform.   The Senate version of the fiscal year 2018 budget resolution passed by a vote of 51 to 49.   “The sole purpose of this budget resolution ... (click for more)

Jay's Owner Says She Was Drinking At Wilder Street Bar Because It Was A Surprise Party In Her Honor

Jay’s bar at 1914 Wilder St., has been cited to the beer board several times in the past and punished with the suspension of its beer license multiple times since 2013. At the Thursday morning meeting of the beer board, the owner of the business was cited again on Sept. 28, for several of the same reasons. A routine bar check conducted by Chattanooga patrol officers on a Thursday ... (click for more)

The Deer Decline At Enterprise South Nature Park

There are now 11 fewer deer to see at Enterprise Nature Park. The hunters snuck another one in secretly so as not to cause controversy.   I go to that park three or four times a week, and haven't seen any deer for months, and I used to see them all the time. They had to put out "salt licks" to attract deer from surrounding areas outside the park. Then they killed them ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: At Last! New Schools

In this me-me-me-only-me world of today, we-we-we-finally got a thrilling $125 million facility plan for the Hamilton County Department of Education on Thursday night. The School Board unanimously approved a well-thought-out “first Band-Aid” that will provide a new elementary school in Harrison, middle schools in East Hamilton and Howard, and a quite-satisfactory answer to move ... (click for more)

Baylor Wins State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – There were tears on both sides of the court at MTSU’s Murphy Center Thursday afternoon. There were tears of relief and joy for the Baylor Lady Red Raiders while the tears for the Briarcrest Lady Saints represented heartbreak and disappointment. Such is the case when two really good volleyball teams meet for the second straight year for a D-II Class AA ... (click for more)

Lanters Are Latest Sister Acts Leading Lady Flames Teams

When one looks back on the success of the Lee University women’s soccer program over the past 16 years, it is easy to see what sisters have provided. Records show the surge began in 2001 and continues today with senior Summer and freshman Anna Lanter (former Soddy Daisy High School standouts) helping spark the Lady Flames to a current 8-4 overall mark and 7-2 in the rugged Gulf ... (click for more)