Former TVA Vice President From Chattanooga Pleads Guilty To Illegal Foreign Transactions, Filing False Income Tax Returns

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
A former TVA vice president who at one time lived in Chattanooga on Wednesday pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and Iranian Transactions Regulations, and two counts of filing false income tax returns.  Masoud Bajestani, 58, also agreed to the forfeiture of $600,000, representing the funds used to promote the specified unlawful activity.
 
Sentencing is set for 1:15 p.
m. on Jan. 15 in U.S. District Court in Knoxville before Judge Leon Jordan.  Bajestani faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for conspiracy to violate the IEEPA, and three years for each count of filing a false tax return.  He also faces a maximum fine of $250,000 on each count.
 
In February 2013, a federal grand jury returned an 11-count superseding indictment against Bajestani, charging him with conspiracy, violations of the IEEPA and the Iranian Transactions Regulations, making a false statement to a federal agency, international money laundering, and filing false income tax returns.
 
Between February 2008 and May 2010, Bajestani agreed and conspired with an Iran-based coconspirator to engage in financial investments in Iran, in violation of the Iranian Transactions Regulations.  These regulations impose economic sanctions against Iran, making it unlawful to make financial investments in Iran without authorization from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control.  Bajestani transferred $600,000 to Iran for investment purposes.  He and his coconspirator used an informal value transfer system known as a “hawala” to transfer the funds to Iran.  Bajestani also falsely reported on his income tax returns that he did not have an interest in a foreign bank account.
 
The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, IRS-Criminal Investigations Division, Tennessee Valley Authority-Office of Inspector General, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Theodore represented the United States.
 

Latest County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ACOSTA, STEAVEAN ANDREW  3416 LISA DR EAST RIDGE, 37412  Age at Arrest: 27 years old Arresting Agency: Alcoholic BEV Comm POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL (UNDER AGE) --- ALUMADO, AROLDO  1603 KIRBY AVE APT 1 CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 34 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County ... (click for more)

Signal's Shoal Creek Bridge Called Worst In The County; To Be Replaced

A bridge at Signal Mountain crossing Shoal Creek that was built in 1975 as part of the subdivision has been labeled the worse in the county.   Signal Mountain officials said it has been inspected by TDOT and given a rating of 39.9 percent adequate. It is considered to be in critical condition, which qualifies for replacing it with funding from the state.   ... (click for more)

Why The 2-Sided Sidewalk On Wide And Busy Highway 58?

I don’t know if it's the state or the city of Chattanooga that is spending a lot of money to build sidewalks and/or bike trails on Highway 58 (from Webb Road to Jersey Pike). We will have the finest walking/biking sidewalk that crosses at least a dozen businesses with heavy traffic and at best you have to cross six lanes of traffic to get to the other side to catch the sidewalk ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: City Limits Worry Dogs, Cats

If you are a dog or a cat in the Chattanooga area, it is very important to know exactly where the city limits are. You need to know that if a stray animal is rescued in the city, it is taken to one of the finest animal shelters in all of America. But if the errant pooch or tabby is found in Hamilton County – outside the city limits -- it is taken to arguably the worst animal facility ... (click for more)

Mocs Picked 8th In Preseason FCS Poll

We have not even reached June yet, but the preseason prognostications are already starting for the upcoming college football season.  Sporting News has already released its 2015 College Football Preview and picked the Mocs No. 8 in its preseason FCS top-25 and No. 1 in the Southern Conference.  Chattanooga is coming off a 10-4 overall record that included a trip to ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Advances To National Amateur Championship

The Chattanooga Football Club beat the Maryland Bays 2-0 Friday night in the second semifinal game of the 2014 National Amateur Championships here in Chattanooga. Chattanooga advances to play the Michigan Bucks Saturday night at 7:30 in the championship. The two teams are competing for the Hank Steinbrecher Trophy which is awarded to the top amateur team in the nation.   ... (click for more)