A “Harvard-educated” fugitive who forged his own death in America to avoid allegations of fraud and sexual assault was discovered at a Glasgow hospital after he caught Covid-19.
Nicholas Rossi, who used the false name of Arthur Knight when he was admitted to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, was charged with extradition and later placed on a ventilator.
The death of the 34-year-old, who also used the surname Alahverdian, was announced in February 2020.
The “obituary” claimed he was cremated and his ashes “scattered across the sea” after a quick death from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer.
He was reported to have died with his wife and two children by the bed, and the obituary even recounted his last words: “Do not be afraid and run towards the bliss of the sun.”
He actually fled to the Atlantic to avoid arrest for investigating fraud and sexual assault in two U.S. states, according to prosecutors at the Utah Attorney General’s Office.
“He definitely decided to go into hiding,” David Leavitt, the district attorney, told the Washington Post. “I have been practicing law for 30 years, both as a prosecutor and a lawyer. That’s the first one. “
He lived the life of warriors
Rossi was known in Rhode Island for his calls to reform the state child protection system. He worked as an assistant in the state legislature, where a formal resolution was filed in March 2020 to pay the tax in which he claimed to have lived a “warrior life”.
His fake obituary described him as a Harvard alumnus, although it is claimed that he attended but did not graduate.
Doubts about his death arose after a death certificate was not issued in Ireland, where he was claimed to have moved. NHS workers in Glasgow have discovered that he is wanted by Interpol and has been arrested by Scottish police.
Prior to his disappearance, he was under investigation by the FBI on charges of fraud in Ohio and was the subject of an arrest warrant in Rhode Island for failing to register as a sex offender after his 2008 conviction.
His DNA in 2020 was linked to “many similar ones [sexual assault] crimes in Utah and across the United States, “said the District Attorney’s Office.
He appeared in the extradition proceedings on December 23 via a video link.
A Scottish police spokesman said: “Police arrested a 34-year-old man in Glasgow on Monday, December 13, in connection with an international arrest warrant.”