Jacksonville man who faked death arrested in North Carolina

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville businessman reported dead two years ago in Venezuela has been arrested in North Carolina on federal charges.

Saturday's arrest ends years of speculation about whether former furniture store owner, Jose Lantigua, 62, faked his death in 2013 while vacationing in Venezuela, leaving his business millions of dollars in debt.

But his life insurance companies thought they were being swindled and filed a suit alleging the businessman was alive.

North Carolina officials said they stopped a car Lantigua was driving in with his wife in Buncombe County.

Assistant State Attorney Joe Licandro said Lantigua faces insurance fraud charges in Florida, involving policies worth $9 million from seven companies.

Lantigua's long time Attorney Joshua Woolsey said Saturday that he and his law firm were withdrawing from the case.