Starbucks: the Hip Meeting Spot for Insider Trading

White collar criminals skipping meetings at "passé" luxury hotels to confer over coffee

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We like when the Wall Street Journal writes trend stories. Whether it's suggesting proper hat etiquette for hipsters or explaining the burgeoning Jello-shot industry, the Murdoch paper always keeps focus squarely on its business-minded readership. Today, the Journal highlights a new frequent meeting spot for white collar criminals: Starbucks.

Starbucks offers the kind of bustling environment that can provide cover for individuals during their interactions, lawyers say. As a result, it offers a forum for more than just socializing and the occasional insider-trading-related activity.

Got that? Instead of whispering in one of those old, luxurious '80's standbys like the Plaza Hotel (humorously deemed "passé," by one lawyer to the paper), it would behoove an aspiring criminal to use the nonchalant commotion in Starbucks to his or her advantage. As the Journal notes, traders in the Galleon Group case rendezvoused there, and so did Russian spy Anna Chapman.

One warning for those eying Starbucks as an inconspicuous location: watch your wallet--plenty of blue-collar criminals frequent the place too.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.