A fugitive who faked his own death to escape sex charges in the US was caught at a hospital in Scotland after being put on a ventilator with a COVID infection.

Nicholas Alahverdian, 34, was arrested on an Interpol notice at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow on December 13, where he was intubated after nearly dying of the virus. Alahverdian – who claimed to have died of cancer in February 2020, aged 32 – is being sought over a 2008 sexual assault charge in Utah.

Utah County Sheriff’s Office in Provo began the hunt for Alahverdian in 2020 after testing old sexual assault kits, and linking him to a 2008 case which had been closed by a detective without being referred to prosecutors. 

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. 

His former foster mom told the outlet last year that he illegally obtained more than 22 credit cards and loans under her husband’s name and racked up nearly $200,000 in debt. 

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. 

He faced an extradition via videolink from his Scottish hospital room last month, and was kept under police guard. It is unclear how Alahverdian was caught, and whether he has been returned to the US. 

The DailyMail.com has reached out to the Ohio County District Attorney’s office for comment. 

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'

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 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.’ 

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. 

Mr Alahverdian, 34, was arrested on an Interpol notice at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow on December 13 after nearly dying of Covid-19

Mr Alahverdian, 34, was arrested on an Interpol notice at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow on December 13 after nearly dying of Covid-19

Mr Alahverdian, 34, was arrested on an Interpol notice at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow on December 13 after nearly dying of Covid-19

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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

‘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 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 obit, which some suspect was written by Alahverdian himself, claimed House of Representative and Senate members were among those paying homage to a ‘fighter in spirit but a peacemaker in practice.’

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.’ 

Doubts about his purported death were raised when a person claiming to be his widow insisted his ashes would be scattered at sea and refused to show his death certificate to newspaper The Providence Journal. 

Alahverdian’s foster mother also recognized the adulatory comments in his obituary to be similar to his writing style.

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 the Utah County Attorney David 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 is now the subject of extradition proceedings instigated by the Utah County

Alahverdian is now the subject of extradition proceedings instigated by the Utah County

Alahverdian is now the subject of extradition proceedings instigated 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
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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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