Fact Check: Pfizer CEO Was NOT Arrested By FBI In Scarsdale, NY

Fact Check

  • by: Dean Miller

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: Pfizer CEO Was NOT Arrested By FBI In Scarsdale, NY Cops Said Fake

Did the FBI arrest Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla in Scarsdale, New York, on the morning of November 5, 2021? No, that's not true: Scarsdale police said there was no FBI raid there and that Bourla no longer lives in the famous bedroom community of New York City. Bourla made multiple live appearances on network television the day he was purported to be arrested and held.

The claim appeared in an article (archived here) published by ConservativeBeaver.com on November 5, 2021. It was titled "CEO of Pfizer arrested, charged with fraud - media blackout - Conservative Beaver." It opened:

Beaver Exclusive Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was arrested at his home in the affluent suburb of Scarsdale, New York Friday morning by the FBI and charged with multiple counts of fraud. Bourla is bein

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

CEO of Pfizer arrested, charged with fraud - media blackout - Conservative Beaver

Beaver ExclusivePfizer CEO Albert Bourla was arrested at his home in the affluent suburb of Scarsdale, New York Friday morning by the FBI and charged with multiple counts of fraud. Bourla is bein

In a November 5, 2021, telephone call, the Scarsdale Police Department said the Conservative Beaver story about Bourla is false.

No ... There's been no FBI activity in Scarsdale. He does not reside in Scarsdale, the house has been sold.

Pfizer's media staff said the same: "This is a false claim," Pifzer's senior director of global media relations Jerica Pitts wrote in a November 5, 2021, email to Lead Stories. "We had media interviews he was participating in live all day - CNN, CNBC, Fox, etc.," Asked to confirm Scarsdale Police's report of Bourla's home sale, Pitts said the company does not disclose where employees live.

Here, for example, is a link to the CNBC interview with Bourla on November 5, 2021, which aired live.

Scarsdale, described by the New York Times as "a pricey suburb with an Old World air," is 25 miles from midtown Manhattan, making it popular with corporate executives like Bourla. His vaccination status was the focus of a report on a local news website, Scarsdale 10583. Pfizer's headquarters is on 42nd Street in Manhattan.

Conservative Beaver publishes false reports on major news figures and events, claiming, for instance, that actor Alec Baldwin was arrested on child porn charges (he wasn't), the late Brian Laundrie was found in Mexico (he was found dead in Florida, Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau's younger brother was arrested on child sex abuse charges (he wasn't) and a half-dozen more, which Lead Stories has debunked.

Lead Stories has requested FBI information about the claim and will update this report when the agency replies.

Updates:

  • 2021-11-16T18:36:35Z 2021-11-16T18:36:35Z
    Users on November 16, 2021 may notice an experiment with linking, using the last word of this fact check.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Dean Miller

Lead Stories staff writer Dean Miller has edited daily and weekly newspapers, worked as a reporter for more than a decade and is co-author of two non-fiction books. After a one-year Harvard Nieman Fellowship, he served as Director of Stony Brook University’s Center for News Literacy for six years. As Senior Vice President/Content at Connecticut Public Broadcasting, a dual licensee, he oversaw radio, TV and print journalists, and documentary producers. He moved west to teach journalism at Western Washington University, edit The Port Townsend Leader and write the twice-weekly Save The Free Press column for the Seattle Times. Miller won the 2007 national Mirror Award for news industry coverage and he led the team that won the 2005 Scripps Howard first amendment prize. 

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