JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jose Lantigua's family appeared to be living the American Dream. The Cuban immigrant claimed he had a heroic military career and earned numerous degrees before running a successful furniture business.
But in 2012, as his Circle K Furniture slid deeper into debt, those who knew Lantigua said he'd made some odd decisions including ordering tons of new furniture on the company dime for his family's many homes and building a panic room inside his North Carolina hideaway.
And, prosecutors say, he and his wife began planning his fake death to scam almost $8 million from insurance companies.
Sixty-two-year-old Lantigua and his 57-year-old wife, Daphne Simpson, are jailed on seven Florida insurance fraud charges each after he was arrested by federal agents Saturday in North Carolina.