An American fugitive who is believed to have faked his own death to evade a rape charge is facing extradition after being arrested in a Glasgow hospital.
Nicholas Rossi, 34, was wanted by Interpol in connection with the alleged sexual assault in Utah, US, in 2008.
He was arrested using the alias Arthur Knight at the Queen Elizabeth university hospital in Glasgow on 13 December after he was admitted with coronavirus.
Utah prosecutors said the alleged fugitive “fled the country to avoid prosecution” and “attempted to lead investigators and state legislators in other states to believe that he was deceased”. They are now seeking his extradition back to Utah.
“We have full faith and support of Scotland police in this matter,” Utah county attorney David Leavitt said. “Ultimately, the decision regarding bail is left to the international courts until Mr Rossi is extradited to the United States.”
Police Scotland said the fugitive was arrested in Glasgow last month in connection with an international arrest warrant.
A spokesperson said: “A report was submitted to the procurator fiscal.”
Rossi used many aliases while on the run, including Nicholas Alahverdian, Nicholas Alahverdian Rossi, Nicholas Edward Rossi, Nicholas Alahverdian-Rossi, Nick Alan, Nicholas Brown, Arthur Brown and Arthur Knight.
It was reported by several media outlets in 2020 that Nicholas Alahverdian had died on 29 February 2020 from non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The website EverLoved.com claimed that his body was cremated, while his ashes were supposedly scattered at sea.
An online obituary read: “Nicholas Alahverdian’s battle for life ended on February 29, 2020.
“The children and families in the care of the Rhode Island Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF) for whom he inspired and led through turbulent government transgressions have lost a warrior that fought on the front lines for two decades.”
Rossi used the alias while living in the US state of Rhode Island and was involved in local politics, it has been reported.
It is understood the FBI also had a warrant for his arrest on charges of defrauding his foster father by taking out credit cards in his name and running up debts of more than $200,000, according to BBC News.
The Utah rape charge came as part of a review of historical sex assault cases where DNA evidence kits had not been tested.