Lantigua Confidant, Milagros Dominguez Arrested by Homeland Security for Misuse of Social Security Numbers

Willie Lantigua (l) sits with his campaign confidante Milagros Dominguez (r) in campaign headquarters on Essex St. in Lawrence.

By: Tom Duggan & Janet Aldrich
May 12, 2015

A long time ally, confidant, strategist, and campaign worker for former Lawrence Mayor and State Rep. Willie Lantigua, has been arrested and charged by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force

The task force is a partnership between HSI and other federal, state, and local counterparts. It was created with a series of multi-agency teams, developed to target criminal organizations and beneficiaries behind fraudulent schemes.

Milagros Dominguez of Lawrence, was charged with 3 counts of violation of 42 USC, Sec 408; for using false social security numbers to receive benefits. She was arraigned in federal court Tuesday afternoon and released without bail, but with the following conditions;  she cannot move, cannot change employment, must remain employed, must use her real name at all times,  and cannot use any other identities or social security numbers. 

A pretrial conference is set for early July.


In 2006 the Valley Patriot broke several stories about Dominguez using a fake identity after our sources obtained an original false drivers license. The license listed her name as ‘Dirma Espada’ next to her photo. 


milagrosyellAt the time Dominguez refused to comment, but a month later in June of 2006, she verbally attacked a Valley Patriot reporter at Semana Hispana (Hispanic Week), saying that the Valley Patriot manufactured “lies”. Our reporter snapped this photo (right) as she lashed out at him. 


Dominguez was also escorted out of the Valebrook Apartments by Lawrence Police last year. The incident happened on Election Day, November 04, 2014. Dominguez had been causing  a raucous after voters complained that she was campaigning for Willie Lantigua inside the polling locations. Lantigua was running for State Representative against Marcos Devers. He lost that election. 

Dominguez also worked for the City of Lawrence under Mayor Lantigua as an poll worker with access to voter information. She was in charge of checking voters names as they voted. Dominguez was seen not only wearing Lantigua stickers inside the polling locations, but several voters complained that she was going inside the polling booth with voters and telling them who to vote for, as well as passing out sample ballots with Lantiua’s name already checked off. 

During the 2013 Lawrence mayoral race between Mayor Lantigua and (then) Councilor Dan Rivera, a recount was held. Milagros Dominguez represented the Lantigua campaign during that recount. She is seen below conferring with Lantigua during that recount. 


2013 - Mayor Willie Lantigua with his trusted advisor Milagros Dominguez overseeing the recount against Dan Rivera.
2013 – Mayor Willie Lantigua with his trusted adviser Milagros Dominguez overseeing the recount against Dan Rivera. (PHOTO: Tom Duggan).

She has also been the publisher of, and writer for  several Spanish language newspapers and magazines including the publication “Latino Pride”, Siglo 21, and had worked on a publication for the Lawrence Public Schools.

In 2006, Dominguez was on the forefront of an effort to stop Northern Essex Community College from building a multi-million dollar Health and Technology Center on Common Street at the site of the old downtown mall. That effort failed. 

Dominguez recently ran for office in the Dominican Republic’s national elections, seeking a spot as Deputy to serve on the Dominican Congress. The position was created so that Dominicans living in the US could represent other Dominicans who have problems with either transferring property, or may have problems dealing with sending a vehicle from the United States to the Dominican Republic. She lost that election. 


Mayor Lantigua’s former Chief of Staff Lenny Degnan was convicted last year of fraud for his role in sending a garbage truck to the Dominican Republic while Lantigua was mayor. Lantigua has been under investigation by the Essex County District Attorney, the Attorney General and United States Attorney’s Offices since shortly after taking office in 2010. 

Throughout that time, ambulances and other vehicles were sent from vendors doing business with the City of Lawrence to Lantigua’s home town town of Tenares as “gifts”. 

Throughout the time those vehicles and other items were being sent to the Dominican Republic, Milagros Dominguez was actively involved with the Lantigua administration. Her (now) husband Santiago Mattias was hired to work in city hall by Lantigua. At the time Lantigua hired Mattias to be an inspector of weights and measures without having the proper certification. He was ordered by the city to take a class and obtain the state mandated certification to remain in the job, but Mattias never took the test and was fired by Mayor Rivera in 2014. 

He and Milagros ran several programs on Spanish Language radio promoting Lantigua’s political efforts and acting as his promotions team. They are still on the radio today. 


Established in April 2006, the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Document and Benefit Fraud Task Forces focus their efforts on detecting, deterring and disrupting both document and benefit fraud. Investigators from a variety of agencies with expertise in different aspects of fraud collaborate with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices around the country to formulate a comprehensive approach in targeting the criminal organizations and the beneficiaries behind these fraudulent schemes.

Through collaboration and partnership, the task forces maximize resources, eliminate duplication of efforts, and produce a strong law enforcement presence. They combine a variety of law enforcement tools and authorities to achieve focused, high-impact criminal prosecutions and financial seizures.

Document and benefit fraud poses a severe threat to national security and public safety because it creates a vulnerability that may enable terrorists, criminals and illegal aliens to gain entry to and remain in the United States. Document fraud, also known as identity fraud, is the manufacture, sale or use of counterfeit identity documents such as fake driver’s licenses, birth certificates, Social Security cards or passports for immigration fraud or other criminal activity. Benefit fraud refers to the misrepresentation or omission of facts on an application to obtain an immigration benefit one is not entitled to, such as U.S. citizenship, political asylum or a valid visa.


16 Responses to "Lantigua Confidant, Milagros Dominguez Arrested by Homeland Security for Misuse of Social Security Numbers"

  1. Jackie Marmol   May 12, 2015 at 8:10 PM

    When Will Law Enforcement Learn To Keep All These Political Criminals In Jail..Cannot Believe That This Nut Case Thief And Fraudulent Beast Was Released Without Bail..God Oh Mighty!!!!

    • Francisco Paulino   May 14, 2015 at 1:30 PM

      JACKIE MARMOL, Milagros was release because she is not consider a danger to someones person or property. she has two children both of them US citizens. Milagros probably will be deported, but until then, her two child need their mami at home. She broke the law, and must pay her debt to people of the Massachusetts Federal District, however, Jackie my dear friend, she is a mother.

    • Francisco Paulino   May 14, 2015 at 1:40 PM

      I can’t wait for that day Jackie. Can you imaging Mike Sullivan in prison for all his corruption and abuse of authority (that would be great); or Lantigua arrested for his criminal act against the best interest of our city; what about all this Lawrence elected officials including a state representative, and a young city council that encourage people to invest in telex free; etc

  2. Jackie Marmol   May 12, 2015 at 8:13 PM

    Karma Milagros Or What Ever Your Real Name Is, Will never Forget All The Obscenities You Yelled At me When I Was Supporting Uniting Lawrence To Get Rid Of Lantigua, And Called A White Bitch Wanna Be..I Rather be White Then A Spanish Trash Like You!!!

  3. An Fees   May 12, 2015 at 10:46 PM

    I don’t normally respond to these types of claims publicly but this really upset me. I used to listen to her show for years. If this is true, I am indignant! Milagros is a local public figure, who is very visible in the community. She is someone who portrayed herself as a professional, even though she often acted quirky as part of her radio show. For her to openly use different names and identities, while she has such a visible role in the community is arrogant and flippant! How can you do that while you are under the public eye and not think that anyone would notice? Or did she not care or simply think she was somehow untouchable? How could she do that when so many honest, hard working people in Lawrence entrusted her to represent them and supported her radio show and radio personality? Did she just not care? I am really, really disappointed. I think it’s time for people in our community, especially Latinos to really pay attention to some of the ethical, legal and moral dilemmas that we’re seeing, not so that we can stand in a place of judgement or point fingers of others shortcomings but so that we can be more aware of how these things cast a dark shadow on the community as a whole. There are competent, professional, ethical people in the community – it’s time for you to rise up! Enough is enough.

  4. David   May 13, 2015 at 8:43 AM

    Why am i not surprised!Fraud,corruption, were rampant in the lantigua camp.

  5. Eniale Agev   May 13, 2015 at 1:33 PM

    Let me get one thing very clear before I address what bothers me. I did not, do not, and will never support anyone in the Lantigua camp because most, if not all, are corrupt and were only looking to better their lifestyle at the cost of the community. Now what I have an issue with is Jackie Marmols angry statement. I completely understand that she was out of line for verbally attacking you but 2 wrongs don’t make a right sweetheart. First of all, you prove to be no better than her when you stoop down to her level. Second, when trying to racially insult someone make sure to get the race correct. Spanish people are from spain, just saying, and being that you are from the Lawrence area or nearby vecinity you must love to be surrounded by what you consider trash because as far as I know the majority of Lawrencians are HISPANIC/LATINO. This is not an insult towards you nor a race war but rather a friendly reminder that everyone is not the same. Have a great day!

    • roseann ortiz   May 19, 2015 at 4:25 PM

      Trash? Totally uncalled for

  6. gracemarie tomaselli   May 13, 2015 at 1:45 PM

    Thank you for the very informative article exposing more fraud and corruption.

  7. Mr s   May 19, 2015 at 11:20 PM

    De Milagros wow no melo esperaba pero de lantiwa se puede esperal eso y mas si cometio el crimen aqui que lo pagen aqui y despues lo deporten porque lo deportan hoy y lla mañana regresan con otro nombre

  8. lovelymary   May 20, 2015 at 7:12 AM

    Put them in JAIL SOO THEY CAN LEARN….

  9. Ed   May 20, 2015 at 8:10 AM

    What happened to all the respect, love, and unity we all should be creating in our communities? ED

  10. Florentina   November 8, 2015 at 3:14 PM

    francico paulino
    , difiende a milagro poique ello lo lantiguita lo ponieron a corre pa la ecuela aora. ello son to lo mimo

  11. Jackie Marmol   April 11, 2016 at 7:59 PM

    My Dear Francisco Paulino, I Wonder Who Is babysitting Her Kids Now That She is Serving Time In Federal Prison In Rhode Island Or Did You Buy The Story That She Is vacationing In DR For Four Months, which Should have Been At Least 4 Years, I See Her Sentence As Another Slap In The Face In The Eye Of The True American Citizens!!!

  12. J.Colon   April 12, 2016 at 6:30 PM

    As a Latina I’m not proud of what this lady did and I see how some people can lose their way being placed in such a position as she did but @ the end of the day every race has corrupted and fraudulent people running their government it’s who decides to take the extra step and gets caught

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