Jose Salvador Lantigua, 63, is going to spend the next 14 years in jail in the US, for faking his own death and trying to mount a massive fraud.
Lantigua owned a furniture business in Jacksonville, Florida – the business wasn’t doing too well so he used fraudulent documents to secure $2 million in loans. He told his wife, Daphne Simpson, in January 2013 that he had been diagnosed with Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, also known as mad cow disease, and that he had a year to live. He also told her that a doctor told him that surgery could save his life – but he would need to have the operation in Colombia.
Then just before flying to Colombia he told Simpson he did not have mad cow disease but that he’d been part of an Army military special operations team, that the team had killed a drug cartel leader, and he was being blackmailed by a rogue CIA agent who would expose Lantigua’s identity to the alleged cartel member’s son if he did not satisfy the blackmail demands.
Then he flew in April 2013 to an island off the coast of Venezuela, where he bought a fake death certificate and fake certificate of cremation, and Simpson flew to Venezuela to join him. Then they took the fake documents to obtain a certificate of death abroad.
Back in Jacksonville Simpson illegally claimed on seven life insurance policies worth $6.6 million, claiming Lantigua had died of complications from mad cow disease while in Venezuela.
Both were rumbled and the scheme fell apart.
Picture source: Barry W