Two men are being held in New Hanover County Jail for allegedly holding four teens against their will in a Wilmington hotel.
One of the suspects told authorities in court Wednesday he's "definitely not guilty" and worked for a company called Midwest Circulation.
After investigating more about Midwest Circulation, it seems this isn't the first time they've been put in the spotlight for negative reasons.
According to the Better Business Bureau, the limited liability company is headquartered in Cameron, Missouri and started in 2009. BBB's website categorizes the company as a magazine subscription agent who sells magazines door to door.
The website also lists several complaints, totaling to 131.
"I think the fact that Wilmington has a solicitor's permit requirement helps to deter some of this in Wilmington," the lead investigator in the Wilmington case, Sgt. Thomas Tilmon said. "I would ask any citizens if children come door to door and they're not Girl Scouts selling Girl Scout cookies, or Boy Scouts selling popcorn, or kids selling the dining attractions booklets to support their school, if it's not something usual, please do not give them money. If the children appear young, you need to immediately call 911."
Complaints on the BBB website suggest salespeople claim they are raising money either for college, high school, or a charity when the salesperson isn't associated with any of those previously listed.
Other complaints include illegally operating without city or town sales permits and selling subscriptions, but never delivering what customers ordered.
In June of 2013, the attorney general of Missouri filed a suit against Midwest Circulation and its president, Bridget Robbins for misrepresenting the business to customers.
According to the BBB, the lawsuit seeks to stop any illegal practices by the business and also demands reimbursement for consumers and civil penalties against the company.
The two suspects arrested in Wilmington, Jeremy Moots and Justin Angermeier, are being held in the New Hanover County Jail. They have refused any interviews.
WECT News also called the number listed on the BBB website for Midwest Circulation. When we introduced ourselves and explained the story or Moots and Angermeir, we were told to contact their attorney if we had any further questions.
Also, Midwest Circulation's company website is no longer available online. The North Carolina Department of Justice has warned people in the past about phony magazine sellers and their slick sales pitches.
Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.
322 Shipyard Boulevard