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.

 

Attic Of House Near Graysville Road Catches Fire

The attic of a house near Graysville Road caught fire on Friday evening. At 6 p.m. the Chattanooga Fire Department responded to a residential structure fire at 8709 Oak View Dr.. Fire crews arrived at 6 :07 p.m. T he homeowner stated that everyone was out of the house and that there was a fire in the attic. The homeowner said that they had smelled something burning ... (click for more)

Corker’s Bipartisan Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act Becomes Law

Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after the president signed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 into law. The bill, which passed the Senate 98 to 1 and the House of Representatives 400 to 25, requires congressional review of any final nuclear agreement with Iran before the president can waive sanctions ... (click for more)

Don't Make A Mockery Of Memorial Day - And Response

We're told Memorial Day is the day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order that we, as Americans and others around the world, might live free, unshackled (invisible or otherwise) and without oppression. But how is that so when so many in America continue to be denied those freedoms? Others whose family and friends made the ultimate sacrifice? Their surviving families ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chincoteague Mourns ‘Dude’

In the span of a person’s life, there are some things that simply can’t be explained to be totally understood. And of all the spectacles I have ever personally witnessed, one of the best is that day in late July when they “pen the ponies” at Chincoteague Island, Va. I’m serious. Over 50,000 people watch every year as volunteer “Saltwater Cowboys” swim the wild ponies to the mainland ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats GPS 6-4 For D-II Softball Title

MURFREESBORO – Oh, what a difference a year makes. The GPS Bruisers came through the losers bracket a year ago and beat Baylor twice after losing the first five times they played, but those two were the biggest as it gave the team in blue a state D-II softball championship. The situation was similar a year later, but the results a bit different as the Lady Red Raiders beat ... (click for more)

Dickson County Ousts Ooltewah, 6-5, In Epic 12-Inning Thriller

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – For Ooltewah, more heartbreak followed heartbreak. After a tough loss to Wilson Central on Thursday, the Lady Owls fought furiously with Dickson County in an epic 12-inning marathon Friday before the Lady Cougars’ Keely Buchanan laced a game-winning single up the middle to end  the game and Ooltewah's masterful season. Dickson County, which lost ... (click for more)