Monday, January 24, 2022

Alleged US criminal who was ‘faked to death’ faces extradition after being arrested in Glasgow

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A man believed to have faked his own death and fled the US to avoid prosecution is facing extradition after being found in a Glasgow hospital

Nicholas Rossi, known by various other names, was wanted in connection with an alleged sexual assault in Utah in 2008, the Utah County Attorney’s Office said.

The 34-year-old was arrested at a Glasgow hospital in December under a different alias, Arthur Knight, and has been in custody ever since.

He is understood to have been treated for Covid at the city’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Utah prosecutors said the alleged fugitive “fled the country to avoid prosecution” and “tried to lead investigators and legislators in other states to believe he was deceased.”

They said they were working with federal and international authorities to extradite Mr Rossi to Utah.

Multiple media outlets reported in 2020 that Nicholas Alahverdian, one of Mr Rossi’s many aliases, had died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on February 29, 2020.

They quoted the website as saying his body was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea.

An online obituary dedicated to Nicholas Alahverdian read: “Nicholas Alahverdian’s struggle 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 who fought on the front lines for two decades.”

Mr Rossi was arrested by Scottish police on December 13 last year, Utah prosecutors confirmed.

His bail hearing was held on December 23 at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court, which will rule on his custody during extradition proceedings.

“We have the full confidence and support of the Scottish Police in this matter,” Utah County Attorney David Leavitt said.

“Ultimately, the decision on bail will be left to the international courts until Mr Rossi is extradited to the United States.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Officers arrested a 34-year-old man in Glasgow on Monday 13 December in connection with an international arrest warrant.

“A report has been submitted to the prosecutor.”

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