According to authorities, a Rhode Island man believed to have fled to America and made up his death in order to avoid prosecution for rape or financial fraud was taken into custody in Scotland.
Nicholas Alahverdian, 34, who has been a vocal critic of Rhode Island child welfare after saying he was sexually abused in the state’s foster care system, now faces extradition to the U.S. to face a rape charge in Utah.
Alahverdian, who had a severe case of coronavirus, was found after being admitted to a hospital in Glasgow. told The Providence JournalThis week.
Hospital staff verified his identity by comparing their patient to a photo of Alahverdian submitted by investigators, Utah County Attorney David Leavitt’s office said, declining to provide details.
Alahverdian was living abroad under the pseudonym Arthur Knight, but he has been known to go by various aliases. He was detained by Scottish authorities Dec. 13. Leavitt said Friday his office has been providing information to authorities overseas regarding Alahverdian’s flight risk as the court weighs his bail. Alahverdian’s representative could not be reached for comment.
According to court records, Alahverdian was able to meet a 21-year old woman via MySpace back in 2008 when he lived in Orem and went by Nicholas Rossi.
She claimed she had ended her relationship, but Alahverdian owed money and promised to repay her. Instead, he sexually assaulted the woman in his apartment.
Leavitt’s office said DNA evidence collected at the time wasn’t tested until 2017 as part of a state effort to clear backlogged rape kits. It was found to be a match in a case of sexual assault against Ohio.
Alahverdian, a Sinclair Community College student from Dayton, was convicted on 2008 of two sex-related offenses. Rhode Island State Police stated that Alahverdian, who was not registered as a sex offenders in the state, is being sought by them.
It FBI has said he is also wanted in Ohio on charges he took out credit cards in his foster father’s name and amassed more than $200,000 in debts.
Leavitt’s office didn’t comment Friday when asked whether Alahverdian would also face charges of faking his death or avoiding arrest. The authorities noted that Alahverdian had spoken to FBI agents in Ohio over phone and by email, saying he was currently living in Ireland as a result of the extradition policies.
It’s not clear whether Alahverdian has a lawyer; an email seeking comment was sent to the “Alahverdian Family Office,” which had sent a notice in 2020 about his funeral and memorial service at a church in Providence, Rhode Island.
Alahverdian had for years been an outspoken critic of Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth and Families, testifying before state lawmakers about being sexually abused and tortured while in foster care.
According to The Journal, he revealed that he was suffering from late stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2020 and only had weeks left.
An obituary published online claimed he died Feb. 29, 2020, but by last year, Rhode Island state police, Alahverdian’s former lawyer and former foster family were publicly doubting If he really died.