A 17-year-old high school student who spun a wild tale about earning $72 million trading penny stocks during lunch breaks at school now admits he made the whole story up.
Mohammed Islam bragged to a NY magazine reporter about his stock trading exploits during his lunch breaks at Stuyvesant high school in New York. The Queens, NY teen told the reporter he pocketed $72 million trading stocks during school lunch breaks with his investment club friends. He said he drove a BMW, owned a million-dollar Manhattan apartment, and treated his pals to expensive dinners including $400 caviar. But it was all lies.
“It is not true,” Islam told the newspaper. “I run an investment club at Stuy High, which does only simulated trades.”
As proof of his net worth, Islam showed a reporter an 8-figure bank statement. Now he admits the bank statement was fake, too.
From The Washington Post:
New York’s initial defense of the piece relied on an eight-figure bank statement from the teen, which the magazine claimed a fact-checker examined. But Tuesday morning, the Washington Post published an article in which a source close to Islam’s family said the bank statement was a fake. “[He] created some bullshit thing on the computer with blacked out numbers,” the source told the Post. “He said she could look at it for 10 seconds, and pulled it away.”
“Mr. Muhammad Islam fibbed to a reporter and for this he is very apologetic,” said Ronn Torossian, a spokesman for the con artist.
Islam said his parents were immigrants from South Asia. Islam’s incredible rags-to-riches story made headlines all over the world on Monday, after New York magazine ran the story.
New York magazine quickly changed its headline and issued an apology to its readers when Islam’s story began to fall apart.
“We were duped,” the magazine’s editors said in a statement. “Our fact-checking process was obviously inadequate; we take full responsibility and we should have known better. New York apologizes to our readers.”
Islam’s parents are reportedly furious at him.