I’ve got bad news for you if your name is Nicholas Rossi. Or Nicholas Alahverdian. Or even if it is Arthur Knight. A UK judge ruled that Rossi, whose legal name is Alahverdian but who insists he’s actually an Irish orphan named Arthur Knight, can be extradited back to the United States to face the Utah rape charges that caused him to go on this Wile E. Coyote chase from the law in the first place.
Along with the 2008 Utah charges he evaded, Rossi has also racked up fraud and sex offender charges in Ohio and Rhode Island. In 2020, he faked his own death, only to pop up a year later in Ireland and adamantly insist he’s actually an Irish orphan named Arthur Knight. (That last detail really reeks of George Glass.) In an interview with NBC News, Rossi donned his finest bow tie and fake British accent, claiming, “I am not Nicholas Alahverdian. I do not know how to make this clearer.” Sure, Jan. From Audra Heinrichs’ report at the time:
Ever since his incarceration, Rossi has reportedly attempted to convince authorities that he was, in fact, Arthur Knight (a reference to King Arthur and the knights of the round table? Unclear.). This week, an Edinburgh court ruled that Rossi had hatched an elaborate plan—one that even included an obituary on a memorial website, claiming he’d died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in February 2020—to escape charges. Rossi’s true identity was confirmed via his tattoos and fingerprints after he was apprehended “for obstructing the course of justice and allegedly behaved in a threatening or abusive manner” at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
It was a good try, but no one in the world, including Scottish Judge Norman McFadyen, apparently, remotely believed that this fugitive is a Knight of the Round Table. McFadyen ruled Wednesday that Rossi should be extradited back to the U.S., noting that he’s is “as dishonest and deceitful as he is evasive and manipulative,” the AP reported.
“I concluded that the evidence of the requested person was unreliable to the extent that I would not be prepared to accept any statement of fact made by him unless it was independently supported,” McFayden said. There is something pretty satisfying about a judge in a tiny, powdered judicial wig calling another grown man “deceitful” and “unreliable” for forging his identity.
It is now up to Scottish ministers to decide if Rossi will in fact be extradited to the U.S. to face his charges. [Editor’s note: I can’t believe this man is only 35 years old.]