FACT CHECK: Has Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla Been Arrested By The FBI On Fraud Charges?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A tweet liked over 2,100 times claims Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was arrested in New York for fraud on Nov. 5.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence Bourla has been arrested by the FBI on fraud charges. The rumor stems from a website that has published misinformation before.

Fact Check:

The tweet, which has garnered over 1,000 retweets, reads in part, “CEO OF PFIZER ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH FRAUD. COMPLETE MEDIA BLACKOUT. PFIZER CEO, ALBERT BOURLA, WAS ARRESTED AT HIS HOME IN THE AFFLUENT SURBURB OF SCARSDALE, NY ON FRIDAY MORNING BY THE FBI.” Screen grabs of it have also been shared on Facebook.

Bourla serves as the CEO of Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company that has developed one of the three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for individuals ages 16 and older in August, according to an FDA press release.

In reality, there is no evidence the Pfizer CEO has been arrested on fraud charges by the FBI. The FBI and the Justice Department have not put out any press releases about charging or arresting Bourla for fraud, nor have they announced such moves on their respective Twitter accounts. An FBI spokesperson told Check Your Fact via email they did not have any information about Bourla allegedly being arrested on fraud charges.

Such an incident would likely prompt a statement from Pfizer, which is a publicly-traded company. Bourla gave interviews to CNN and CNBC about Paxlovid, an antiviral medication developed by Pfizer to treat COVID-19, on Nov. 5, the date he was supposedly arrested. (RELATED: Was A Pfizer Patent For ‘Tracking Vaccinated Humans Worldwide Via Microwave And Graphene’ Approved?)

The inaccurate allegation about Bourla being arrested appeared in a Nov. 5 article published by the Conservative Beaver, a website that has a history of promulgating misinformation. Check Your Fact has previously debunked false claims from the website about former President Barack Obama getting arrested for espionage and Pope Francis being indicted on human trafficking and fraud charges. The Conservative Beaver articles making those particular allegations are no longer available on the site.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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