Reportedly dead former owner of Circle K Furniture stores jailed

Jose Lantigua faces insurance fraud charges totaling $9 million

Buncombe County, N.C., Sheriff's Office booking photo of Jose Lantigua

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The former owner of two Circle K Furniture stores in Jacksonville has been jailed without bond near Asheville, North Carolina.

Police arrested Jose Lantigua, 62, around 9 a.m. Saturday, News4Jax has learned.

Officers pulled Lantigua over in a traffic stop while traveling with his wife, Daphne Simpson, from Atlantic Beach.

In the past year, News4Jax has covered court hearings about Lantigua's disputed death.

Lantigua turned Circle K Furniture into a booming business in 2008, but his company mysteriously went under about the same time he was reported dead in South America.

Local attorney Gene Nichols told News4Jax the insurance companies that refused to pay life insurance benefits seem to have been right all along.

Lantigua faces insurance fraud charges totaling $9 million from several companies.

Nichols said the insurance companies may also ask for costs incurred during their investigations into Lantigua's reported death.

Stay with for updates on this developing story.

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Lifetime Jacksonville resident, journalist and experienced broadcast news producer with a passion for classic and exotic cars.