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A 17-year-old Queens boy's $72 million earned on the stock market are "about as real as monopoly money," a public relations firm for the teen said late Monday.
Mohammed Islam's story of earning multi-millions based off of knowledge gleaned from an investment club at Stuyvesant High School was first published by New York Magazine and soon after went viral. But on Monday evening, Islam and a close friend also featured in the story, Damir Tulemaganbetov, came clean to the New York Observer, explaining the story was a rumor that media attention spun out of control into a full blown lie.
"The NY Magazine article about Mohammed Islam is inaccurate," Ronn Torossian, president of 5W Public Relations, told NBC News. "A 17-year old boy who lives in Elmhurst, Queens responded to a reporter's inquiry and created an inaccurate story. He sincerely regrets this."
"While Mr. Islam runs an investment club at Stuyvesant High which does simulated trades, his millions are about as real as monopoly money," the statement continued.
Torossian said the teen "simply didn't realize the consequences of his actions" and is sorry and hurt by the embarrassment the fabricated story caused his family.