[Update below] Some of the most wonderful things in the world are too damn good to be true: free human-size hamster wheels, Balloon Boys, missing Park Slope tarantulas, etc. And now there's another delightful delusion to add to the list: turns out the Stuyvesant High School student who told reporters he made millions investing on the stock market is just full of hooey.

"My friend’s father worked at New York magazine and he had the reporter contact me," high school senior Mohammed Islam, 17, told the NY Observer. "Then she [reporter Jessica Pressler] called me." Islam was part of an investment club at Stuy which does simulated trades, and somehow Pressler "came to believe" that "he had made even more than $72 million on the simulated trades."

Pressler had treated the $72 million figure with skepticism (the article's headline, and a NY Post profile on Islam, did not), but New York says Islam "provided bank statements that showed he is worth eight figures, and he confirmed on the record that he’s worth eight figures." Now Islam says that's not true, and, in fact, he's never invested in the stock market. Is he even enrolled at Stuy? Is his real name Mohammed Islam, or Vincent Adultman?

Islam's new high-powered publicist is now blaming the media's for his client's prevarications. "These are young kids who got excited by a reporter’s inquiry," Ronn Torossian, the publicist, tells the Times. “At the end of the day these are teenagers who acted dumb. The fact-checking of a middle-class kid who lives in Elmhurst, Queens, could have been more stringent." True—if he was an upper-class kid from Greenwich, Connecticut, no fact-checking required. You can trust those kids.

New York has changed the headline to eliminate the $72 million figure, and added this statement at the end of the piece: "Mohammed Islam has denied that he made $72 million on the stock market. Our story portrays the $72 million figure as a rumor; the initial headline has been changed to more clearly reflect the fact that we did not know the exact figure he has made in trades. However, Mohammed provided bank statements that showed he is worth eight figures, and he confirmed on the record that he’s worth eight figures."

The takeaway: reporters sometimes get duped by liars, teenagers continue to be annoying, and it goes without saying that Islam, if and when he does become a real life stockbroker, is going to do just fine.

Update 11:31: New York has apologized, explaining that "as part of the research process, the magazine sent a fact-checker to Stuyvesant, where Islam produced a document that appeared to be a Chase bank statement attesting to an eight-figure bank account. A source close to the Islam family told the Washington Post that the statements were falsified. 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."