New York magazine has backed away from its story about a high school student who claimed to have made $72 million trading stocks, apologizing for the story, which senior Mohammed Islam now says is false.
The magazine issued its mea culpa after Islam told the New York Observer in an interview Monday night that he made up the story — and after readers questioned the $72 million figure published by New York magazine.
The publication said that it sent a fact-checker to Stuyvesant High School, which Islam — who claimed that his net work was “in the high eight figures” — attends.
According to the magazine’s apology sent to TheWrap on Tuesday, Islam produced a Chase bank statement “attesting to an eight-figure bank account.”
“After the story’s publication, people questioned the $72 million figure in the headline, which was written by editors based on the rumored figure. The headline was amended,” said the statement from the magazine. “But in an interview with the New York Observer last night, Islam now says his entire story was made up. A source close to the Islam family told the Washington Post that the statements were falsified.
“We were duped,” the publication continued in the statement. “Our fact-checking process was obviously inadequate; we take full responsibility and we should have known better. ‘New York’ apologizes to our readers.”
In addition to Islam’s admission that the story was false, a source close to his family also told the Washington Post that the New York magazine story was a hoax.
Though it backed off of the specific $72 million figure, the magazine defended its story Monday, saying, “Mohammed provided bank statements that showed he is worth eight figures, and he confirmed on the record that he’s worth eight figures.”