North Florida Man Arrested for Insurance Fraud After Faking Death
Contact: Ashley Carr
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the recent arrest of Jose Lantigua and his wife Daphne Simpson of Fleming Island on seven counts of insurance fraud after it was discovered that Lantigua allegedly faked his own death in order to cash in on $9 million in life insurance policies he purchased.
A partnered state and federal investigation that included the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud discovered that Lantigua was in fact alive despite a 2013 insurance claim that stated he had died of mad cow disease in Venezuela. The filing alleged that he traveled to seek treatment for his illness and later died while still in the country of Venezuela. Lantigua was arrested at his North Carolina home.
Lantigua’s case will be prosecuted by the office of 4th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Angela Corey. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. The investigation remains ongoing and additional charges are expected.
Anyone with information about suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 1-800-378-0445. Citizens who provide tips can remain anonymous. The Department of Financial Services has awarded $365,000 to 63 citizens as part of its Anti-Fraud Reward Program. The program rewards individuals up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.
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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).