Fact Check

Was VP of Pfizer Arrested After Document Dump?

In less than 24 hours, a fabricated claim from a self-described "satire" website was copied and shared, without a disclaimer, from one end of the internet to the other.

Published May 7, 2022

 (Twitter screenshot)
Image Via Twitter screenshot
Claim:
Rady Johnson, the executive vice president of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc., was arrested after the release of documents related to the development of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Fact Check

On May 6, 2022, the website Vancouver Times published an article claiming that Rady Johnson, the executive vice president and chief compliance, quality, and risk officer of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc., was arrested and charged with fraud after thousands of incriminated documents were released:

VP of Pfizer arrested after document dump

Rady Johnson, the executive Vice President of Pfizer, has been arrested at his home and charged with multiple counts of fraud by federal agents. He was taken into custody and is awaiting a bail hearing. This comes as 1,000s of classified documents from Pfizer were released, showing the true risks of the experimental vaccine.

rady johnson arrested vp of pfizer
The false claim originated with Vancouver Times, a website that describes its content as "satirical."

This was not a genuine news item, and the central claim is false. Rady Johnson has neither been arrested nor charged with fraud or any other crime. No legitimate news sources have reported such an incident.

Vancouver Times, the original source of this fabricated story, describes its own content as follows:

Vancouver Times is the most trusted source for satire on the West Coast. We write satirical stories about issues that affect conservatives.

We are not affiliated with the mainstream media (CBC, CTV etc.) in any way, and any similarities between our content and the work of the MSM is purely coincidental.

In 2021, a similar "satirical" claim concerning the supposed arrest of Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla went viral. It, too, was false.

David Emery is a Portland-based writer and editor with 25 years of experience fact-checking rumors, hoaxes, and contemporary legends.

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