Mohammed Islam, 17, bragged he had a net worth in the "high eight figures," purchased a BMW even though he did not have a license, and rented an apartment, New York reported in their "Reasons to Love New York" issue Monday.
The "millionaire" whiz kid allegedly amassed a rumored net worth of $72 million by trading stocks and quickly became a viral sensation after media outlets started picking up the story. But skepticism about Islam's claims started to arise and eventually, the teen came forward with the truth in an exclusive interview with the Observer.
Islam admitted the story was total fiction and also claimed he did not know where the $72 million figure came from. The teen was interviewed with his friend, Damir Tulemaganbetov, who was also featured in the magazine's story. Both boys were accompanied with a public relations firm during the interview.
New York issued a formal apology Tuesday morning on their website.
The magazine said a fact-checker was sent to Stuyvesant High School to verify if Islam really did make millions. Islam produced a document that appeared to be a Chase bank statement, which ended up being falsified, as confirmed by Washington Post.
"We were duped. Our fact-checking process was obviously inadequate; we take full responsibility and we should have known better. New York apologizes to our readers," the apology said.