UK judge rules US fugitive faked his own death to avoid rape charge

Britain US Fugitive
Nicholas Rossi leaves Edinburgh Sheriff And Justice Of The Peace Court in Edinburgh, Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. A judge in Scotland ruled Friday that a man who has spent almost a year fighting extradition to the United States is Nicholas Rossi, a fugitive alleged to have faked his own death to escape rape allegations. Andrew Milligan/AP

UK judge rules US fugitive faked his own death to avoid rape charge

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A U.K. judge ruled that a suspected American fugitive faked his own death to avoid a rape charge.

The man going under the identity of Arthur Knight, an Irish orphan, is actually Nicholas Alahverdian, 35, a U.S. citizen who was reported to have died on Feb. 29, 2020, the judge ruled.

The fugitive was charged with rape in 2008 in Utah, for which he was being sought, on top of numerous other assault, sexual assault, and fraud crimes, according to the London Times. He was arrested in Glasgow, Scotland, in December 2021 and has spent his time attempting to fight an extradition charge ever since.


“I am ultimately satisfied on the balance of probabilities … that Mr. Knight is indeed Nicholas Rossi, the person sought for extradition by the United States,” Judge Norman McFadyen told Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Fox News reported.

Nicholas Rossi is one of Alahverdian’s 16 different aliases.

The suspect insists he isn’t Alahverdian and that authorities inked him with tattoos identical to those of Alahverdian while he was in a coma in order to frame him. The tattoos were what gave the fugitive away; they were recognized by the Scottish staff at a hospital he was being treated at after being circulated by Interpol, according to the BBC.

Alahverdian now speaks with a “cut-glass English accent,” according to the London Times, and reportedly goes out of his way to appear English.

“Arthur dressed in three-piece suits with little silk pocket squares and a broad-brimmed hat. He looked and sounded like a caricature of a posh Englishman,” his neighbor Anna said of him, adding that something about him “gave me the creeps.”

A glowing 964-word obituary was published after Alahverdian’s apparent death in February 2020, painting an extravagant picture of the fugitive, calling him a “painter, author, amateur ornithologist, political scientist, sociologist, accomplished orator, and child welfare reform advocate.”

It made several bold claims about Alahverdian, claiming he was the youngest lobbyist in Rhode Island history, a Harvard University alum, a close friend of a former mayor of Providence, and that he had a wife and two children. At least one of these claims is verifiably false; he only briefly studied comparative literature at Harvard before being kicked out after they discovered his sex offender status, the London Times found. In addition, no records exist of a wife or children, with authorities believing he went to elaborate lengths to create her false persona.

“We don’t believe the wife ever existed,” Rhode Island State Police Maj. Robert Creamer told NBC 10 News. “We think most likely he was using some kind of voice-over technology to change his voice to a woman’s voice.”

Conveniently, the obituary claims Alahverdian was cremated and had his remains scattered at sea.

“At the bedside were Mrs. Alahverdian, their two children, and extended family. 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 reads.

Creamer believes it was Alahverdian himself who wrote his own flowery obituary.

“In dealing with Mr. Alahverdian, you knew his personality down to a T. He was a narcissist, egotistical, self-absorbed. And you could tell the minute you read that obituary he had written that thing,” he said.


A Twitter account linked to Alahverdian through his website, which claims it is a memorial account run by his apparently fictional wife, was last active in February 2021 and threatened to release information about a “state representative that raped my husband in 2002 while another legislator watched,” as well as prove a prominent local news outlet had forged evidence of Alahverdian being alive. The last activity on the account was on Feb. 24, soon after the threat.

After establishing his identity, a trial will be held in March for his extradition. Alahverdian has so far fired at least five different judges.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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