Law enforcement authorities in Wilmington reportedly arrested two men on Dec. 18 at a Belk department store. The men, who are brothers, are accused of running an international ring that was focused on defrauding Belk stores.

According to the police, the men were stopped by a loss prevention officer who recognized them from a flyer that had been circulated internally among the stores. When the police investigated the men, they searched their rental car and found 102 Belk gift cards for $300 apiece, 94 credit cards, a card scanner and many items from Belk.

The credit cards were all in the two men’s names. However, police officers state that the magnetic strips on the cards contained stolen information to other bank accounts that did not belong to the men. The information had reportedly been stolen from banks around the world. Police allege that the men used the credit cards to buy gift cards. They would then use the gift cards to purchase items at Belk that they would ship to a home in Coral Gables, Fla. The men then allegedly sold the items on the black market. Both men are in custody in lieu of $125,000 bond each in the New Hanover County Jail.

Convictions of white-collar crimes can carry long prison sentences and stiff fines. People who are accused of committing these types of crimes might benefit by consulting with white-collar criminal defense attorneys. A lawyer might be able to negotiate favorable plea agreements that allow a client to avoid prison time. Legal counsel might also be able to identify problems with how a search was conducted so that they can seek to have the evidence against their client suppressed.