US fugitive who faked death and skipped UK court date arrested

A Rhode Island man who authorities say fled the United States and faked his death to escape prosecution for rape and financial fraud has been arrested after skipping his court date in Scotland, police said on Thursday .

Police Scotland said officers arrested Nicholas Alahverdian in the Woodlands area of ​​Glasgow after a warrant was issued by Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court earlier today.

Prosecutors had sought to revoke Alahverdian’s bail and take him into custody at a hearing on Thursday, a request granted by the court, said Stuart Ritchie, spokesman for the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service. The 34-year-old, who has used several other aliases, is due back in court on Friday and an extradition hearing is scheduled for a later date, he said.

Spokespersons for the police and courts referred further follow-up questions to the Scottish Crown Office, which oversees prosecutions, but a spokesman for that agency declined to comment. Spokespersons for Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court also did not return emails seeking comment.

Utah County District Attorney David Leavitt’s office, who charged Alahverdian with a 2008 rape in Utah, confirmed Alahverdian’s arrest but said he would not comment on extradition proceedings. .

“We again express our gratitude to law enforcement for their diligent efforts in this matter to bring this individual to justice,” he said in a statement.


It is unclear whether Alahverdian has a lawyer; an email seeking comment was sent to the Alahverdian Family Office, which had sent out a notice in 2020 regarding his funeral and memorial service in Rhode Island.

Alahverdian was discovered at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow last month under the assumed name of Arthur Knight after falling seriously ill with COVID-19. He had an initial hearing via video link from the hospital on December 23 and was released on bail pending extradition to the United States, Ritchie said.

Leavitt’s office says Alahverdian, then as Nicholas Rossi, sexually assaulted a former girlfriend in Orem, Utah, in 2008. The office said its investigation found other complaints alleging sexual assault. abuse and threatening behavior against women in other states.

Rhode Island authorities said Alahverdian is also wanted in their state for failing to register as a sex offender. The FBI said he faces fraud charges in Ohio, where he was also convicted of sex-related charges in 2008.

In recent years, Alahverdian had been an outspoken critic of Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth and Families, testifying before state lawmakers about being sexually abused and tortured while at home. homepage.

Then in 2020, he told local media that he had terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and had weeks to live.

An obituary posted online claimed he died on February 29, 2020, but last year Rhode Island State Police, Alahverdian’s former attorney and former foster family publicly doubted whether his death.

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