The story of the Teen Wolf of Wall Street has turned into disaster porn. Yesterday, New York Magazine ran an article about Mohammed Islam, a teen-genius who had supposedly earned a significant amount of money on the stock market. $72 million was a figure that was mentioned in the article, but it was later dismissed (after much controversy) by Islam.
Eager to defend their story, New York Magazine released the following statement:
“The article portrays the $72 million figure only as a rumor; we changed the headline on the story to reflect more clearly the fact that we did not know the exact figure of how much he had made in trades. The story itself does not specify an amount. However, Mohammed provided bank statements that showed he is worth eight figures; he confirmed on the record that he’s worth eight figures,”
That was where things sat last night before the New York Observer sat down with Islam and his friend Damir Tulemaganbetov for an exclusive interview. Islam admitted that they had made the whole thing up and that he had never made a real stock trade. Here’s a bit from the interview:
Observer: What was your first contact with the New York magazine reporter?
Mohammed Islam: My friend’s father worked at New York magazine and he had the reporter contact me. Then she [Jessica Pressler] called me.
You seem to be quoted saying “eight figures.” That’s not true, is it?
No, it is not true.
Is there ANY figure? Have you invested and made returns at all?
So it’s total fiction?
Are you interested in investing? How did you get this reputation?
I run an investment club at Stuy High which does only simulated trades.
If you had been playing with real money, would you have done really well?
The simulated trades percentage was extremely high relative to the S&P.
Where did Jessica Pressler come up with the $72 million figure?
I honestly don’t know. The number’s a rumor.
She said ‘have you made $72 million’?
[I led her to believe] I had made even more than $72 million on the simulated trades.
Here’s my question: what’s the deal with the bank statements New York Magazine stood behind in their statement? I assume that will be the next development — another statement about that.
Until then, lets all sit back and ponder the oddness of this story — which happily mentioned Wall Street and The Wolf of Wall Street — that might actually be fit for its own big screen treatment when all is said and done.
Source: New York Observer