Did Stuyvesant High senior Mohammed Islam really clean out the stock market for a cool $72 million during his lunch breaks? No, no, and no.
Monday’s New York Magazine broke the story, in which a mild-mannered high school student made a fortune investing in the stock market, all on his down time between classes and after school. The New York Post followed up claiming that Islam had made $72 million, a number that NYMag was a bit hesitant to confirm. Regardless, NYMag’s Jessica Pressler wrote that Islam’s takeaway was in the “high eight figures.”
Business2Community wasn’t alone in questioning the veracity of the story, even though many news agencies picked up NYMag‘s admitted “rumor” and ran with it as fact. We expressed doubt that the pay day was as high as originally claimed, though wrote that it wouldn’t be unreasonable or unimpressive for a high school student to make even a six-figure payday from playing the stocks.
Turns out, he actually made much less. Zero.
In an exclusive interview with the New York Observer, Islam, along with friend and cohort Damir Tulemaganbetov and a small army of lawyers, admits in short, carefully-worded responses that the whole story is a sham.
Confirming that the
NYMag story written by Pressler is “total fiction,” Islam says that the closest he’s ever come to actually playing the stock market is running “an investment club at Stuy High which does only simulated trades.”
Islam says he doesn’t know where Pressler came up with the $72 million figure, though later implied that he led her to believe he had made even more than that before being rushed out of the room and presumably coached by his crisis management team. When he returned to resume the interview, he merely said that his simulated trades were “very successful.”
He also said that the hoax has severely impacted his personal life, perhaps causing irreparable damage with his family.
“Honestly, my dad wanted to disown me. My mom basically said she’d never talk to me. 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.”
You can read Mohammed Islam’s entire interview with the New York Observer here.
[Image: Wikimedia Commons]
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Mohammed Islam Hoax: Stuy Stock Whiz Kid Made It All Up, Hasn’t Spoken To Parents Since
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