Circle K owner's family files life insurance claim

Insurance companies say Jose Lantigua is alive in South America

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The family of a Jacksonville furniture store owner whose death is being disputed has filed a claim on his $2 million life insurance policy, saying the former owner of Circle K Furniture died in Venezuela.

Hartford Life and Annuity Insurance Company believes Jose Lantigua is still alive and has refused to pay.

Hartford filed a counter claim with a judge, that included a revocation of Lantigua's death certificate it obtained from a company hired to investigate the reported death. The judge determined that document was forged.

Lantigua's family wanted the judge to impose penalties on Hartford, but the judge said it's not clear the insurance company knew the document was a fake.

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

Lantigua left behind a wife and two children in their 20s, according to Josh Woolsey, the Lantigua family's attorney. He said Lantigua's wife has his death certificate and ashes.

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