‘Millionaire’ teenage stock trader admits he lied about everything

[Update below] Some of the most wonderful things in the world are too good to be true: free human-sized hamster wheels, Balloon Boys, extinct Park Slope tarantulas, and more. High school student who told reporters he made millions investing in the stock market is just full of hooey.

“My friend’s father worked at New York magazine and asked the journalist to contact me,” Mohammed Islam, a 17-year-old high school student, told the NY Observer. “Then she [reporter Jessica Pressler] called me.” Islam was part of an investment club in Stuy that didn’t simulated trades, and somehow Pressler “came to believe” that “he had made even more than $72 million on the simulated trades”.

Pressler had treated the $72 million figure with skepticism (the title of the article and a NY Post profile on Islamdid not), but New York says Islam “provided bank statements that showed it was worth eight figures, and he publicly confirmed that it was worth eight figures”. Now Islam says that is not true and, in fact, he has never invested in the stock market. Is he even enrolled in Stuy? Is his real name Mohammed Islam or Vincent Adultman?

The new high-ranking Islamic publicist now accuses the media of his client’s procrastination. “These are young children who were enthusiastic about a journalist’s investigation”, Ronn Torossianthe publicist, tells the Times. “At the end of the day, it was teenagers who acted like idiots. The fact-checking of a middle-class kid who lives in Elmhurst, Queens, could have been stricter.” True – if he was an upper-class kid from Greenwich, Connecticut, no fact-checking required. You can trust these kids.

New York changed the title to remove the $72 million figure, and added this statement at the end of the article: “Mohammed Islam denied making $72 million on the stock market. Our story depicts the figure of $72 million dollars as a rumor; The title has been changed to more clearly reflect that we don’t know the exact figure he made in transactions. However, Mohammed provided bank statements showing it was worth eight figures, and he publicly confirmed it was worth eight figures.”

The takeaway: journalists are sometimes duped by liars, teenagers continue to be boring, and it goes without saying that Islam, if it becomes a real stockbroker, will do It’s okay.

Update 11:31 a.m.: New York apologizedexplaining that “as part of the research process, the magazine sent a fact-checker to Stuyvesant, where Islam produced a document that appeared to be a Chase bank statement evidencing an eight-digit bank account.” A source close to the Islam family told the Washington Post that the statements were falsified. We have been duped. Our fact-checking process was clearly inadequate; we take full responsibility and should have known better. New York apologizes to our readers.”

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