The Greatest Scam Wall Street Ever Pulled

By
Chinese chow mein in takeout container.Photo: Lauri Patterson/iStock

Sure, there was the Madoff pyramid scheme. There was the whole subprime loan mess. There was the Galleon insider-trading scandal. But finally, Fast Company blows the takeout lid off the most widespread Wall Street conspiracy of them all: the giant misuse of firms' Seamless Web accounts:

Typically, junior professionals are allotted about $25 per meal at the office. But there are tricks to leverage this cash on Seamless. If employees want to order dinner, for example, they have to stay until 8 p.m. "But you could still order for a 7 p.m. delivery at 6 p.m., then call the restaurant directly and tell them to bring it right away," one employee says. "So I'd finish work around 6:30 p.m., hit the company gym, and then grab my sushi — spicy tuna rolls — on the way out."

Ordering groceries on Seamless was — and likely still is — another practice. (Representatives at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have not responded to requests for comment.) One employee, who lived by Morgan Stanley's Midtown offices, would even remote into her office computer from her apartment, place an order on Seamless, and then call the restaurant and change the delivery address to her apartment. The lobster-loving Morgan Stanley banker's take on that old switcheroo? "Classic."

Another "classic" move: Calling up to switch a soda order to beer. But it's not just about the money, as one anonymous source explains to Fast Company. It's about love of the game. "There's nothing grosser or more magnificent than eating $25 of delivered Taco Bell under the fluorescent, sober lights of an office building. Do you have any idea how much baja sauce you can get for that money?"