You may find yourself in an unfortunate situation that needs a criminal defense attorney to help you. What you should know is that lawyers have different skill sets and experience. A good criminal defense lawyer should provide the best representation in court. The best way to find one would be to request recommendations, but if you can’t find one, you may search online and look at the reviews.
There are many attorneys for federal cases, and one of the best ways of ensuring you get the best is by looking at their experience. Finding a specialized lawyer or one who has handled similar cases would be an excellent idea. The best criminal justice lawyers have good track records on the cases they have worn and lost. The record will provide insight into the ability of a criminal law lawyer to defend you.
Do some research on what other people say about the lawyer. A good criminal defense lawyer has a good reputation, which is a good sign of being trustworthy and knowledgeable. The lawyer’s availability is another factor to consider. The lawyer should take the case immediately and be available to answer any queries. Don’t pick a lawyer that is too busy to answer your calls.
In 2013, Jose Lantigua traveled to Venezuela and allegedly fell ill. After his supposed death, he left behind his furniture store in Jacksonville, Fla., which was millions of dollars in debt at the time.
But his life insurance company, Hartford Life and Annuity Life Insurance Co., thought they were being swindled, so the company launched an investigation into Lantigua’s death. They claim that one of Lantigua’s workers was bribed into saying that the man’s body had been cremated.
Turns out they were right: Lantigua was alive and well and driving through Buncombe County, N.C. with his wife when he was arrested on Saturday, March 21. His wife was also arrested at that time.
Lantigua now faces insurance fraud charges over policies worth $9 million from seven different companies.
“The cost of insurance fraud of all types of fraud is a serious issue and increases the cost of insurance for everyone,” said Kevin Ressler from Farmer’s Union, a life insurance company. “A report from Conning & Co. in 2000 estimated that the cost of life insurance fraud alone was 11.8 billion dollars per year.”
What tipped Hartford off? Turns out that Lantigua had fraudulently assigned benefits claims to his local creditors before disappearing, and the company became suspicious when two of those lenders made claims through the insurance company.
Lantigua’s son, however, has accused the insurance company of falsifying the investigation and lying about the Venezuelan government revoking Lantigua’s death certificate.
The South Florida Business Journal reported that the insurance company admitted a Venezuelan lawyer altered the documents to make it look like the death certificate had been nullified, but the judge said there was no determining who exactly had changed them.
Prosecutors in Jacksonville said that they were unsure whether Lantigua’s wife knew her husband was alive prior to the arrest, so they could not charge her.
For now it is unclear whether Lantigua has any new legal representation, either. His former attorney in civil cases, Joshua Woolsey, said that they would not represent Lantigua based on this new information.
“I and the law firm were shocked to learn this morning that we have been defrauded by acting and relying on the information that indicated he was dead,” Woolsey said.