Coffee County Con Artists

An elaborate, multi-state fraud scam has reached the Wiregrass.

Billy Cotter has been in the real estate and land developing business in Coffee County for more than 30-years.

Several months-ago, he and several of his employees were swindled in an elaborate securities scheme.

Michael Von Kanel was one of many employees who enrolled in a retirement plan that didn't exist.

He and his wife, Teresa Von Kanel, and father-in-law, Douglas Handley have each been charged with five-counts of selling unsecured securities.

The three suspects in the case were all released on bond Tuesday from the Coffee County Jail.

The John Hancock Insurance Company recently paid Cotter and his employees back for their losses.