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.

 

Tennessee Delegation Urges Transportation Secretary To Work With Haslam, State Officials On Highway Funds

Every member of Tennessee’s Congressional delegation this week urged U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx to work with Governor Bill Haslam and state officials to find a solution to a problem that threatens Tennessee with the loss of $60 million in urgently needed highway funds.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this month that a new Tennessee ... (click for more)

Couple Charged With Breaking Into TVA Building And Taking $7,500 In Items, Truck

A couple was charged with breaking into a TVA building on Hickory Valley Road and taking $7,500 in items as well as a truck. Dustin Lee Adams, 25, and Hollie Diesz, 38, are charged with theft and firearm possession. In the incident on Wednesday, TVA officials said the thieves entered the building and took several sets of keys, a Think Pad, a Nikon 300 camera, two Garmin GPS ... (click for more)

Downtown Needs Cleaned Up

My son and I parked on Broad Street and walked to the Billiard Club on Cherry Street this past weekend. It's probably a total of two blocks. In that short walk we passed where Rone Regency used to be on 6th Street and in that doorway was about a years worth of human feces and urine covering the doors and walls. The concrete sidewalk on the street is all broken up and the metal ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 40 Questions About ‘Blue Bags’

No. 1 – Did you know that one in every five of the 42,000 children in the Hamilton County school district is what the experts call “food deprived?” No. 2 – Can you get your arms around the fact that a huge percentage of those 8,400 children get little, if nothing, to eat from Friday at lunch until they return to our schools on Monday? No. 3 -- Did you know that you – just ... (click for more)

Unbeaten Baylor Volleyballers Roll Past Soddy Daisy

The 2016 high school volleyball season is only 10 days old, but the Baylor Lady Red Raiders are already playing in mid-season form. Fresh off a strong weekend where they beat perennial state power Brentwood twice en route to winning the prestigious Early Bird Tournament in Knoxville, the Lady Raiders continued that consistent strong play on Wednesday evening as they made short ... (click for more)

Nine Headed To East Ridge Hall Of Fame On Sept. 9

East Ridge will induct nine people into its Hall of Fame at halftime of the Central-East Ridge football game on Sept. 9. The 2016 inductees: 1.  DAVID COPELAND - 1964-1967. Played football and track for three years. Captain of both sports. Earned a football scholarship to the University of Tennessee. 2.  CARLENE ELLIOTT RYON - 1964-1967. Played basketball ... (click for more)