Thursday, September 5, 2013

Outlier Foreign Investment Conviction (9/5/13)

A former high ranking TVA official, Masoud Bajestani, pled to "single count of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and two counts of filing false income tax returns."  Dave Flessner, Ex-TVA executive pleads guilty to sending money to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions (timesfreepress 9/5/13), here.

I am treating this as an outlier case -- in the sense that it is outside the mainstream of the criminal cases under the current offshore account initiative.  The characteristics of the mainstream cases are criminal tax misconduct using offshore accounts which, in turn, caused the FBAR violation.   Here, the gravamen of the case is the transfer of money to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.

In the 2/4/13 original USAO EDTN press release of the arrest (here), the charges did not include tax charges.  As is not unusual, a number of charges were added after the arrest.  Ed Macrum, Government adds 7 charges against former TVA nuke official ( 2/7/13), here which said:
On Wednesday, a superseding indictment added seven counts to Bajestani's charges. Charges now involve conspiracy, violations of the economic sanctions, filing false tax returns and others. Penalties range from three to 20 years.
Still the tax charges seem to be an outlier to the major offenses.  I found no indication that foreign accounts were the issue, but I suspect that there had to be foreign accounts of some sort, perhaps in the name of a family member.  If anyone knows, please post a comment.

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