A fugitive accused sex offender who faked his own death was eventually given away by his tattoos, a court was told.
American Nicholas Alahverdian, 34, who has used 16 aliases including Nicholas Rossi, appeared in court yesterday.
He was first arrested back in December at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, where he was being treated for COVID-19.
He is facing extradition to the US after fleeing in 2017 to evade charges involving identity theft and fraud, and a 2008 sexual assault charge in Utah.
And according to the Times, it was his tattoos that gave him away as police and hospital staff were able to identify him thanks to the pictures police had.
Jennifer Johnston, for the prosecution, said: “They have noted tattoos — and scarring on his other arm which is believed to have come from the attempted removal of tattoos.”
Prosecutors allege Alahverdian discharged himself the following day and returned to his home in Glasgow.
He was denied bail at Edinburgh Sheriff Court after being arrested in Glasgow on Thursday.
Utah County Attorney David Leavitts office, which has charged Alahverdian in connection with a 2008 rape in Utah, confirmed Alahverdians arrest.
Leavitts office says Alahverdian, who was then using the name Nicholas Rossi, sexually assaulted a former girlfriend in Orem, Utah.
The office has said its investigation found other complaints alleging abuse and threatening behavior against women in other states.
Additionally, authorities in Rhode Island have said Alahverdian is also wanted in their state for failing to register as a sex offender.
The FBI has said he faces fraud charges in Ohio, where he was convicted of sex-related charges in 2008.
In recent years, Alahverdian had 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.
Then in 2020, he told local media he had late-stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma and had weeks to live.
An obituary published online claimed he died on Feb. 29, 2020. But by last year, Rhode Island state police, Alahverdians former lawyer and former foster family were publicly doubting whether he actually died.
One of his neighbors in Glasgow, Anna said she was always suspecting something was not right.
She told the Times: “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.”
“He was friendly and polite, but there was something about him that gave me the creeps.”
The 34-year-old man will be back in court on Feb. 10 for a preliminary hearing, with a full hearing scheduled for Feb. 17, Scottish court officials said.