Skip to comments.Former Tennessee Valley Authority VP Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Financial Investments in Iran
Posted on 09/06/2013 10:48:10 AM PDT by TennesseeGirl
Former TVA Vice President 58-year-old Masoud Bajestani plead 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.
Bajestani sentencing is set for January 15, in U.S. District Court in Knoxville.
Bajestani faces a maximum sentence 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 charged Bajestani, 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.
Bajestani also agreed to the forfeiture of $600,000 in U.S. currency, representing the funds used to promote the specified unlawful activity.
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.
Was the house in Iran his ‘investment’?
Without being racist, can I ask what nationality a name like that is?
TVA Nuclear Program administered by
person “investing” in a country publicly threatening
various Western interests with a Nuclear Attack,
and in process of building a nuclear weapon capability
Why it is racist to ask. It says Tennessee right in the headline. GO VOLS!
Masoud Bajestani, TVA’s site vice president for the $2.5 billion Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor construction project in East Tennessee, left Friday.
Bajestani did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment. His former wife took the message and said there was no other way to reach him by phone.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that Bajestani, a 54-year-old nuclear engineer from Iran, had a five-year contract to finish the reactor. He earned $619,000 in income and bonuses, according to testimony in a divorce case last year
Masoud Bajestani, who until a week ago headed the $2.5 billion nuclear building project at TVA’s Watts Bar plant, has, according to court documents, told lies both on personal financial matters and in dealings with a whistleblower who reported safety problems on another nuclear project. Anne Paine has a rundown on the strange situation.
Bajestani, 55, admitted he withdrew $1.5 million from his deferred compensation account with the Tennessee Valley Authority by claiming a financial hardship that didn’t exist.
He and his then-wife, Maryam Ghorashi-Bajestani, wanted to invest in property in their native country of Iran, according to divorce trial estimony cited in a Court of Appeals document dated April 20, 2010.
Much of what wasn’t paid out in taxes was sent to that country through a Canadian bank because of a U.S. embargo on doing business with Iran. The money was intended to buy land, Bajestani had said.
Iranian. He owns 2 homes here in the U.S. and a residence in Iran along with at least $600,000 in Iranian bank accounts. From an old newspaper account:
"Although he denied any illegal activity, Bajestani said in a divorce proceeding three years ago that he made an early hardship withdraw from his retirement fund because he wanted to invest money in Iran, where the return would be greater. An appellate court in 2010 ruled that Bajestani sent $600,000 to his brother-in-law in Iran. The transfers were made through a Canadian bank around the time that Bajestani's second wife, Maryam Ghorashi-Bajestani, sued him for divorce."
Also, "he conspired with others to invest $600,000 in Iranian businesses".
does that name sound kind of Muslim?