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American fraudster who faked his own death and was nabbed in Scotland is on the run again

An American fraudster who faked his own death, then fled to Scotland to escape sex charges only to be arrested after almost dying of COVID was briefly declared a fugitive Thursday after he failed to show up to an extradition hearing.  

Scottish officials confirmed to DailyMail.com yesterday that Nicholas Alahverdian, 34, failed to appear for an extradition hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court and that a warrant was issued for his arrest. 

He was later hours nabbed at a Scottish residence, said the Utah County District Attorney’s office, which is seeking him for a rape charge.

It is unclear whether the address where Alahverdian was found was the same one he had given during a bail hearing on December 23, and whether that address had been checked before the warrant for his arrest was issued.

It also remains unclear why Alahverdrian was freed on bail following a hearing held via videolink from Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital las December 23. A spokesman for Edinburgh Sheriff’s Office refused to comment when asked for details of why Alahverdian had been released, given his status as a known fraudster. 

No details have been given on when Alahverdian, who also goes by the surname Rossi, was discharged from Queen Elizabeth Hospital after recovering from COVID. Officials have yet to disclose his current health status – although he was put on a ventilator with a serious COVID infection shortly before his arrest. DailyMail.com has contacted the facility for further information. 

Alahverdian was arrested on an Interpol notice at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow on December 13. He had checked in under the alias Arthur Knight, and was intubated after nearly dying of the virus. 

News of the warrant and his arrest came as a Rhode Island newspaper detailed in a new report how Alahverdian was arrested a number of times in the state between 2010 and 2011 for alleged violent behavior. 

Suspected conman Nicholas Alahverdian – who faked his own death to avoid sex and fraud charges in 2020 – was discovered alive and unwell by Interpol at a Scottish hospital last month. However, he’s on the run again after being granted bail and failing to show up for an extradition hearing. He’s pictured in an undated photo

Alahverdian had been due to appear before Edinburgh Sheriff's Court, pictured, for a hearing on Thursday. But he failed to show up, and a warrant was issued for his arrest

Alahverdian had been due to appear before Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court, pictured, for a hearing on Thursday. But he failed to show up, and a warrant was issued for his arrest 

Alahverdian was freed on bail following a hearing at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow, pictured, on December 23. It is unclear why the decision was made to free him on bail, given his status as a known fraudster, and the severity of the charges he faces in the United States

Alahverdian was freed on bail following a hearing at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow, pictured, on December 23. It is unclear why the decision was made to free him on bail, given his status as a known fraudster, and the severity of the charges he faces in the United States 

He was under armed guard at Queen Elizabeth hospital, where he appeared via a video for a December 23 court hearing.

‘He was not remanded into custody during that time,’ a court spokesman told DailyMail.com this week.  

Scottish officials did not respond to queries requesting further information on the conditions of Alahverdian’s arrest, nor did they say whether he was under police watch.

News of his escape shocked former friends familiar with his previous escapades.

‘Holy sh**, they let a sexual predator go,’ said former Rhode Island representative Brian Coogan, 51, who has known Alahverdian for decades. ‘OMG.’

Alahverdian – who claimed to have died of cancer in February 2020, aged 32, before being buried at sea – is being sought over a 2008 sexual assault charge in Utah.

He is accused of raping an ex-girlfriend in September 2008, with police investigating Alahverdian discovering he’d been reported to the police over similar alleged attacks in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Utah and Ohio.  

The faker, who is also known as Nicholas Rossi, was convicted of sexual assault following an ‘encounter’ with another student at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. 

He is suspected of carrying out multiple other sex attacks, and was also accused of a $200,000 fraud after taking out credit cards and loans in his foster mother’s husband’s name in Ohio, it is alleged. 

Alahverdian divorced his second wife in 2017 after less than two years of marriage, and is also said to owe her $52,000. Both of his former spouses took out restraining orders against him after their marriage ended. 

After being arrested in Rhode Island for assault, Alahverdian reportedly banged his head against the bars of a police cruiser and screamed loudly on the way to jail

After being arrested in Rhode Island for assault, Alahverdian reportedly banged his head against the bars of a police cruiser and screamed loudly on the way to jail

More details of his bizarre behavior was detailed by the Providence Journal, which obtained a series of Pawtucket police reports from more than a decade ago.

One accuser told police in July 2010 that Alahverdian lured her to his apartment under the guise that she’d be visiting his art studio. Instead, she told cops, he took away her phone and pressed her for sex.

When she refused his advances, he told her ‘if she left, he would kill himself by stabbing himself in the chest with a knife,’ the outlet reported.

 Alahverdian was taken to hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

Police returned to his apartment that November on a tip, and said they encountered an ‘extremely upset’ woman with injuries to both eyes. 

The woman told cops that Alahverdian snapped after their dinner guests’ baby began crying earlier that night, and claimed they later got into an argument which turned violent. 

Alahverdian ‘grabbed her and knocked her to the ground and held her down’  and ‘slapped her on the facial area,’ the outlet reported.

He resisted arrest, prompting police to physically carry him out of the apartment and into the cruiser, where he repeatedly smashed his head against the metal bars while screaming ‘very loudly’.

He was pepper sprayed by the arresting officers in an effort to get him to stop self-harming.

Nicholas Alahverdian, pictured in 2011, has been arrested for a suspected sex attack after faking his death from cancer and fleeing from the US to Scotland 

This map shows the trail of havoc and alleged criminal behavior carried out by Nicholas Alahverdian across the US

This map shows the trail of havoc and alleged criminal behavior carried out by Nicholas Alahverdian across the US 

The next month, an even stranger story crossed the desk of police in Pawtucket. 

A woman told police she went on a dinner date with Alahverdian, who picked up the  tab. When they returned to his apartment and she refused his advances, he became ‘enraged,’ took away her cell phone, and ordered her to repay him for the meal, according to the report.

He drove her to a nearby ATM, where she withdrew $200  because ‘She felt she had no choice but to give him the money, in fear of further violence.’

Before letting her go, he made her sign on camera an agreement that she ‘could not pursue legal action and that the money she gave him was for therapy for him due to her violent actions and her sexual addiction.’

Criminal past of Nicholas Alahverdian 

Date unknown: Failure to register as a sex offender in Rhode Island. Accused of separate attack which allegedly saw him kidnap and sexually assault a woman

Date unknown: Accused of similar abduction and sexual assault attempt in Massachusetts    

2008: Convicted of sexual assault in Ohio after an ‘encounter’ with a fellow student at Sinclair Community College in Dayton. In September 2008, he allegedly raped an ex-girlfriend in Orem, Utah – the allegation that led to his arrest in December 2021. 

July 2010: Pressures date for sex and threatens to kill himself if she doesn’t comply

November 2010: Quarrels with partner over dinner guests’ crying baby and allegedly later assaults her 

2017: Fraud in Ohio. Former foster mom in same state accused Alahverdian of $200,000 scam which saw him allegedly take out fake credit cards and loans in her husband’s name 

February 2020: Fakes his own death of lymphoma, with unnamed ‘widow’ claiming  Alahverdian had been buried at sea. In July, DNA links him to 2008 sex attack in Orem, Utah – the charge which ultimately led to his discovery in Scotland

December 2021: Arrested at hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, while intubated with COVID on suspicion of Utah sex attack

January 2022: Set to be extradited back to the US, where Alahverdian is almost certain to face further fraud charges for faking his own death in February 2020

An arrest warrant was issued for Alahverdian in 2011 for for violating a restraining order obtained by his then-wife.

Years before the made-for-Hollywood story unfolded, Alahverdian was a Rhode Island political activist who claimed to be victimized by the foster system as child, and who called for changes to state law. 

His tale of a man with a haunted past – who overcame adversity to become a Harvard-educated political scientist – amazed the circles he frequented, with multiple lawmakers taking pity on him. 

He began working at Rhode Island’s state house as a teen, when he served as an errand boy, photocopying documents and delivering papers within the building. 

The charming house page was so charismatic that he nearly convinced a state representative to adopt him. 

Brian Coogan, 51, said he met Alahverdian in 2000 while representing Rhode Island’s 64th District.

Alahverdian has been described as both vindictive and charming, and can be seen posing in an undated photo with former Vice President Mike Pence. 

Coogan told DailyMail.com that he was initially enamored by the troubled teen – who claimed to be sexually and physically victimized in foster care – and moved to give him a permanent family after Alahverdian ‘begged me to adopt him’ shortly after meeting him in 2000.

On the day he was in court to begin adoption proceedings, Coogan said he overheard Alahverdian threatening a social worker, saying: ‘I’ll tell them you abused me, that you hit me.’ 

A judge later talked Coogan and his wife out of it, warning that he was ‘manipulative’ and prone to stealing peoples’ identities.

The charge Alahverdian is awaiting extradition for relates to the rape of a woman in Orem, Utah who he befriended on MySpace in 2008 and later attacked, Utah County District Attorney David Leavitt told DailyMail.com.

Utah County Sheriff’s Office in Provo began the hunt for Alahverdian in 2020 after testing old sexual assault kits.

Those had been uploaded to a national criminal database.

The samples which saw Alahverdian convicted of the Ohio sex attacks in 2008 flashed up as a match for a sexual assault said to have taken place the same year in Orem, Utah.

That case was originally closed by the lead detective without being referred to prosecutors.   

They said DNA led to his capture in Scotland, although it is unclear how staff at the hospital grew suspicious of him.  

‘That’s where we began this investigation,’ Leavitt said Thursday. 

‘And what we found was a trail of victims from Utah to Ohio to Rhode Island, Massachusetts. 

‘All have very similar patterns, very similar stories.’

Brian Coogan (pictured) and his wife nearly adopted Alahverdian in 2000, but a judge convinced him not to

Brian Coogan (pictured) and his wife nearly adopted Alahverdian in 2000, but a judge convinced him not to

Alahverdian traveled in prestigious circles. He's pictured with East Providence Mayor Bob da Silva

Alahverdian traveled in prestigious circles. He’s pictured with East Providence Mayor Bob da Silva

The Utah DA said Alahverdian had also fled charges in Ohio, although further details of the allegations against Alahverdian – who claims to be a married dad of two children – have not been shared.  

He also faced fraud and extortion complaints in Utah and Ohio, the Providence-Journal reported.

 It is unclear if the Ohio fraud charge is linked to the fraudulently obtained loans and credit cards. 

He was convicted in Dayton, Ohio in 2008 of public indecency and sexual imposition; Alahverdian claimed in a 2013 civil lawsuit that the charges stemmed from accusations he masturbated in a hallway of Sinclair Community College.

Alahverdian claimed to have died in Rhode Island, where his reported passing was mourned by state representatives, with his current medical issues meaning cops were finally able to track him down and arrest him. 

The Providence Journal refused to publish an obituary for Alahverdian after a woman claiming to be his third wife failed to provide a death certificate, having claimed that her ‘spouse’ was buried at sea.  

He was convicted in Dayton, Ohio in 2008 of public indecency and sexual imposition; Alahverdian claimed in a 2013 civil lawsuit that the charges stemmed from accusations he masturbated in a hallway of Sinclair Community College.

Alahverdian claimed to have died in Rhode Island, where his reported passing was mourned by state representatives, with his current medical issues meaning cops were finally able to track him down and arrest him. 

An memorial tribute was posted in February 2020 which claimed Alahverdian had died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and that his last words were 'fear not and run toward the bliss of the sun'

An memorial tribute was posted in February 2020 which claimed Alahverdian had died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and that his last words were ‘fear not and run toward the bliss of the sun’

The Providence Journal refused to publish an obituary for Alahverdian after a woman claiming to be his third wife failed to provide a death certificate, having claimed that her ‘spouse’ was buried at sea. 

The con saw a gushing obituary to Alahverdian posted online, which his former foster mom suspected the alleged fraudster had written himself, after recognizing his writing style.

There was also a supposedly posthumous YouTube plea, uploaded three weeks after Alahverdian’s death, asking supporters to help the former foster child push for reform of Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families.

Speaking in a croaky voice towards the end of a self-aggrandizing video touting his achievements, Alahverdian said: ‘I’m Nicholas Alahverdian and I kindly ask with you to join with me in my final fight to reform DCYF.’ 

Alahverdian was described as both charming and vindictive by a former acquaintance. He is pictured in this undated photo with former vice president Mike Pence

Alahverdian was described as both charming and vindictive by a former acquaintance. He is pictured in this undated photo with former vice president Mike Pence

Alahverdian, who also goes by Nicholas Rossi, is a registered sex offender. He was convicted of two sex-related crimes in 2008. His mugshot from the sex offenders' registry is pictured

Alahverdian, who also goes by Nicholas Rossi, is a registered sex offender. He was convicted of two sex-related crimes in 2008. His mugshot from the sex offenders’ registry is pictured 

A local radio station’s news report announcing Alahverdian’s death was also uploaded to the same YouTube channel, in an attempt to underline that Alahverdian really was dead. 

In March 2020, Rhode Island Representative Frank McCabe eulogized him as ‘an accomplished author and child welfare reform advocate’.

‘During his years in the custody of DCYF, he endured significant abuse, depravation of education, neglect, and unhealthy living conditions,’ McCabe said in the House Chamber. ‘The challenges he faced throughout those years could have irrevocably changed his life.

‘Instead, those hardships gave him understanding, passion and drive. More than a survivor, Nicholas endured and ultimately overcame those years in the system,’

A ‘memorial’ Twitter accounted purported to be run by ‘Nick’s widow Louise Alahverdian’ appeared to exist to shut down any claims he was alive.

‘More fake news about Nick is released the more the Rhode Island gov & now the FBI prove they tried to silence him,’ said one tweet. ‘Too late. Difference now is he is deceased & I as his wife and 20+ staff can tell his story. He left 7 manuscripts to publish. RI politics will never be the same.’

There is no evidence online that Louise Alahverdian exists, though Alahverdian has been married twice before.

The sex offender, previously convicted of two sex attacks in Ohio in 2008, used the name Arthur Knight when detained by Police Scotland officers, but it is believed he went under at least eight different aliases since going on the run in 2018.

Further details on how Knight had ended up in Scotland, and how long he had been there, have yet to emerge.  

Alahverdian, whose also uses the surname Rossi, fled the US after DNA linked him to a sex attack in Ohio amid reports of similar offences across the country.

According to the Utah County Attorney’s Office, he is accused of fraud and sexual assault charges in at least two states.

An obituary was posted in February 2020 which claimed Alahverdian had died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and that his last words were ‘fear not and run toward the bliss of the sun’.

'At the time of his passing, the room was filled with the sounds of the end credits for the 1997 film “Contact” by composer Alan Silvestri, a film and score which held special meaning for Mr. Alahverdian,' the obituary said

‘At the time of his passing, the room was filled with the sounds of the end credits for the 1997 film “Contact” by composer Alan Silvestri, a film and score which held special meaning for Mr. Alahverdian,’ the obituary said

The tribute also described him as 'one of the most vocal, outspoken, and constructive advocates for reforming Rhode Island's' child care system

The tribute also described him as ‘one of the most vocal, outspoken, and constructive advocates for reforming Rhode Island’s’ child care system

The obituary claimed he passed away with his wife, family, and two children at his beside. 

‘At the time of his passing, the room was filled with the sounds of the end credits for the 1997 film “Contact” by composer Alan Silvestri, a film and score which held special meaning for Mr. Alahverdian,’ the obituary said. 

The tribute also described him as ‘one of the most vocal, outspoken, and constructive advocates for reforming Rhode Island’s [Department of Children, Youth and Families] and the child care system.’  

A year after his self-proclaimed ‘death’, reports in the US emerged that police did not believe he was dead and were actively hunting him.

He had previously been questioned by the FBI over a credit card fraud allegation.

But he is now subject to extradition proceedings to Utah after DNA led officials to Scotland where he was found in hospital on a ventilator.

In 2008, Alahverdian was convicted of two sexual assault charges in Ohio and in 2017 his DNA from that case was uploaded to a national database.

Alahverdian grew up in foster care in Rhode Island and ‘made it his mission to fight against his mission to fight against what he described as abuses in the state’s childcare system,’ local radio station WRPO 630 said in reporting his death.

Prosecutors claim that in 2020, his DNA matched samples from a sexual assault said to have taken place in Utah and discovered he was suspect in a number of other incidents across America.

He also had a live warrant out for his arrest after failing to register as a sex offender in Rhode Island.

Alahverdian is now the subject of extradition proceedings instigated by Leavitt, who thanked police worldwide including Police Scotland, for finding the wanted man.

He said: ‘Our office is grateful for the significant interagency collaboration of law enforcement to bring this suspect to justice.’

Alahverdian, pictured in an undated photo, is now the subject of extradition proceedings initiatiated by the Utah County

Alahverdian, pictured in an undated photo, is now the subject of extradition proceedings initiatiated by the Utah County

The many aliases of an American fugitive 

Investigators say  the suspected sex predator went by at least eight names, including: 

  • Nicholas Rossi
  • Nicholas Alahverdian
  • Nicholas Alahverdian Rossi
  • Nicholas Edward Rossi
  • Nicholas Alahverdian-Rossi
  • Nick Alan
  • Nicholas Brown
  • Arthur Brown
  • Arthur Knight

An official Utah County Attorney statement added: ‘Investigators also learned that Nicholas Rossi had fled the country to avoid prosecution in Ohio and attempted to lead investigators and state legislators in other states to believe that he was deceased.

‘Through the diligent efforts of SBI Agents, and various investigators in other states and agencies, and in cooperation with the Utah County Attorney’s Office, Mr. Rossi was discovered to be living under an assumed name in Scotland.

‘He has been taken into custody and the Utah County Attorney’s Office is working with federal and international agencies to extradite Mr Rossi back to Utah.’

Rhode Island State Police Major Robert A. Creamer said: ‘He was located in Scotland about a month ago, where he was on a ventilator.’

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: ‘Officers arrested a 34-year-old man in Glasgow on Monday, December 13, in connection with an international arrest warrant. A report was submitted to the procurator fiscal.’

A Crown Office spokeswoman added: ‘I can confirm that Arthur Knight appeared via video link from QEUH on Thursday 23 December 2021 in relation to extradition proceedings for the US.

‘No future dates have yet been fixed.’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk