Ex-husband of ‘Real Housewives’ star Dina Manzo arrested for plotting assault against her husband, racketeering
Thomas Manzo, the ex-husband of Dina Manzo from the “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” was jailed on Tuesday in New Jersey together with a member of the Lucchese criminal mob family on charges of assault and racketeering.
In a news release, U.S. Lawyer for the District of New Jersey Craig Carpenito revealed that Manzo, 55, of Franklin Lakes, N.J., and John Perna, 43, of Cedar Grove, N.J., are implicated of planning and carrying out an assault of Dina’s current husband, Dave Cantin, in exchange for a “lavish” wedding party for Perna at a discounted cost.
Manzo and Perna are each charged by indictment with committing a violent crime in helping of racketeering activity and conspiracy to commit a violent crime in helping of racketeering activity.
The indictment also charges Perna– described as a “soldier in the Lucchese Crime Family”– with conspiracy to devote wire and mail fraud related to the submission of an incorrect vehicle insurance claim. Manzo was in addition charged with falsifying and hiding records related to the federal investigation of the crime.
According to the release, court documents describe Manzo as a co-owner of the Brownstone Restaurant in Paterson, N.J., who employed Perna in 2015 to assault Cantin in exchange for a “affordable” wedding reception at the location.
Perna apparently prepared and carried out the attack in July 2015. He then tossed an extravagant wedding party at the Brownstone at a more affordable cost paid for by an associate of the Lucchese family, the release states, citing court files.
“The wedding and reception, held in August 2015, were attended by approximately 330 people and included many members of the Lucchese Crime Family,” the document reads.
Manzo’s additional charge of falsifying and concealing records is associated with the federal examination of the July 2015 assault and files related to Perna’s August 2015 wedding reception.
“Manzo failed to turn over relevant documents in response to those subpoenas and deliberately submitted a false document regarding the reception to the government, along with a false certification. In November 2019, agents with the FBI executed a search warrant at the Brownstone Restaurant and seized invoices for the August 2015 Perna wedding reception and other relevant documents that were not previously turned over,” the U.S. Attorney District of New Jersey’s Office states in the release.
In addition, prior to beginning a state jail sentence in January 2016, the release mentions that Perna is implicated of falsely reporting his Mercedes Benz was stolen and set on fire. He then filed an insurance coverage claim for the Mercedes to make up for the balance due on the Mercedes Benz. According to the U.S. Lawyer District of New Jersey’s Office, Perna presumably staged the lorry theft and arson in addition to other members of the Lucchese household.