Former TVA VP pleads guilty in Iran investment scheme

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A former Tennessee Valley Authority vice president has pleaded guilty to sending $600,000 to Iran for investment purposes and lying on his tax returns about his interest in a foreign bank account.

U.S. Attorney William C. Killian's office said 58-year-old Masoud Bajestani pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Knoxville to conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and Iranian Transactions Regulations and two counts of filing false income tax returns.

The Iranian Transactions Regulations impose economic sanctions against Iran, making it unlawful to make financial investments in Iran without authorization.

Prosecutors said Bajestani agreed to forfeiture of the $600,000 and is to be sentenced Jan. 15.

Bajestani was a vice president at the Watts Bar Unit II nuclear power plant during its construction phase.

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