A pair of New York City high school students featured in New York magazine’s “Reasons to Love New York” issue for making millions trading the stock market admitted to the New York Observer last night that they made it all up.
New York magazine’s Jessica Pressler reported that Stuyvesant High School senior Mohammed Islam, 17, was rumoured to have made $US72 million from trading the market.
The article also said that Islam admitted that his net worth is in the “high eight figures” and that he had already purchased a BMW and rented a Manhattan apartment. Islam’s buddy Damir Tulemaganbetov, who was also featured in the article, perpetuated the story.
The story was widely picked up in the media. The pair of high schoolers were also scheduled to appear on CNBC’s “Halftime Report.”
After speaking to a number of folks who know Islam and reaching them on the phone while en route to CNBC’s studios (only Damir Tulemaganbetov would speak to us), Business Insider concluded that it was a rumour spun out of control.
Soon after, CNBC’s Scott Wapner got Islam to admit he’s not worth $US72 million.
Last Monday, Islam and Tulemaganbetov finally came clean in an interview with the New York Observer’s Ken Kurson alongside crisis PR firm 5WPR and attorney Ed Mermelstein of RheemBell & Mermelstein.
Islam admitted that he made up being worth “eight figures.” He also admitted that he never actually traded the stock market other than simulated trades.
Islam also told The Observer that his parents were mad at him when the New York magazine article came out.
“Honestly, my dad wanted to disown me. My mum basically said she’d never talk to me,” Islam said.
“Their morals are that if I lie about it and don’t own up to it then they can no longer trust me. … They knew it was false and they basically wanted to kill me and I haven’t spoken to them since.”
They also both said that they’re sorry.