JACKSONVILLE, FL (WJXT/CNN) – More has been revealed about the mysterious case of a once-successful Florida businessman whose death has been disputed for years. He was found alive Saturday.
Jose Lantigua was the former owner of two Circle K Furniture stores in Jacksonville.
It was believed he was dead the past two years, but he was arrested during a traffic stop in North Carolina.
Now that Lantigua was found alive it appears he'll have a lot of questions to answer.
He faces insurance fraud charges totaling $9 million from several companies.
Charlie Jimerson represents American Enterprise Bank.
He says his client is owed millions after Jose Lantigua faked his own death.
"Well, I was shocked. I'm still trying to process this. My head's spinning a bit, but given some of the allegations that have been thrown against the wall - there's a lot of my gut that's unsurprised by this," Jimerson said.
The Lantigua family attorney even said Lantigua's wife had his death certificate and ashes, but several other insurance companies argued that he was alive and well living in South America.
"There's a lot of financial ramifications as Mr. Lantigua's scheme of deceit was pretty elaborate. I imagine there's a lot of creditors that are going to want to know where their money went," Jimerson said.
It's believed Lantigua went shopping around for insurance policies.
In 2013, former business owner said he had a terminal illness. He allegedly falsified insurance documents, provided those documents to creditors and promised collateral to get cash.
Jimerson says he hopes his client gets the money owed to them back.
"That saga is just beginning as well as the criminal fallout of Mr. Lantigua and his wife and perhaps others being involved in this scheme to defraud creditors and insurance companies," he said.
A hearing was set for April 30.
The family wanted the judge to dismiss allegations that Lantigua faked his own death.
Right now it's not clear if that hearing will still happen.
Lantigua's attorney has not responded.
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