Massachusetts Man Sentenced to 46 Months for Smuggling Goods from the United States to Iran
CONCORD - Aiden Davidson, a/k/a Hamed Aliabadi, 32, of Brighton, Massachusetts, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for smuggling goods from the United States to Iran in violation of the U.S. embargo on trade with Iran, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Davidson is a citizen of Iran and a naturalized citizen and resident of the United States. Davidson was the manager/member and registered agent of a New Hampshire limited liability company, Golden Gate International, LLC (“Golden Gate”). Babazedeh Trading Co., a/k/a “Babazadeh Hydraulic Trading Group” (“Babazadeh”) was an Iranian company that operated an online resale business based in Tehran, Iran. Stare Lojistik Enerji Sanayi Ticaret (“Stare”) was a Turkish freight forwarding company with a location in Igdir, Turkey.
Between December 2016 and February 2017, Davidson and Golden Gate smuggled goods from Savannah, Georgia, to Babazadeh in Iran. The goods included motors, pumps, valves, and other items that were valued at more than $100,000. Documents related to the shipments falsely identified the Ultimate Consignee of the shipments as Stare in Turkey. In causing the unlicensed exportation of these goods, Davidson and Golden Gate willfully evaded national security controls related to transactions with Iran.
Between April 2017 and August 2017, Davidson and Golden Gate again knowingly smuggled goods from Savannah, Georgia, to Babazadeh in Iran. The goods included displacement pumps that were valued at approximately $13,000. Documents related to these shipments falsely identified the Ultimate Consignee of the shipments as Ariyanis Group in Turkey. In causing the unlicensed exportation of these goods, Davidson and Golden Gate willfully evaded national security controls related to transactions with Iran.
All told, between 2014 and 2017, Davidson caused a total of at least ten exports of containers of industrial goods and equipment from the U.S. to Iran. During that period he received approximately $1 million in international wire transfers to Golden Gate’s bank account in New Hampshire. Davidson was arrested in September 2018 prior to boarding a flight from Atlanta to Turkey.
Davidson previously pleaded guilty on March 3, 2020.
“Export controls are important legal restrictions that can prevent certain items from being used to jeopardize our national security,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “By smuggling these goods from the United States to Iran, the defendant violated federal law. In order to maintain our national security and protect the people of the United States, we will aggressively investigate and prosecute those who seek to evade the law by smuggling goods to Iran.”
“We will fully and aggressively enforce our nation’s restrictions on exports to Iran,” said Special Agent in Charge William Higgins of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement, Boston Field Office. “The controls on exports to Iran help apply maximum pressure on Iran to end its promotion of instability and terrorism worldwide. The Office of Export Enforcement will continue to work with our Law Enforcement partners to stem illicit trade that threatens U.S. national security and undermines U.S. foreign policy.”
“Homeland Security Investigations remains committed to enforcing export controls on Iran,” said Michael Shea, acting Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Boston. “As demonstrated in this investigation of Golden Gate International and of Davidson’s illegal export of restricted materials, we will continue along with our federal and state law enforcement partners to monitor and investigate export violations committed by Iran or any proxies of Iran.”
This matter was investigated by the Department of Commerce's Office of Export Enforcement and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Davis and Cam Le.