Prosecutors say Thomas Manzo, ex of Real Housewives of New Jersey's Dina Manzo, hired a mob-affiliated assault her now-husband.
Thomas Manzo is said to have hosted a deeply discounted wedding for John Perna, "a soldier in the Lucchese Crime Family," at his New Jersey venue in exchange for the assault, according to a criminal complaint published Tuesday.
The 2015 wedding and reception were held at Manzo's Brownstone event venue and were attended by approximately 330 people, including many members of the Lucchese Crime Family, prosecutors say.
Federal prosecutors say that in 2015 Thomas Manzo, the ex of former Real Housewives of New Jersey cast member Dina Manzo, hired a foot soldier of the Lucchese Crime Family to assault the Bravo star's now-husband.
In exchange for the job, Manzo hosted a deeply discounted and lavish wedding reception for his hired hand at the upscale Paterson, New Jersey event venue that he owns, the US Attorney's Office in the District of New Jersey said in a complaint on Tuesday.
"The wedding and reception, held in August 2015, were attended by approximately 330 people, and included many members of the Lucchese Crime Family," the agency said.
Both Manzo, 55, and John Perna — the 43-year-old man identified in the complaint as "a soldier in the Lucchese Crime Family" — were arrested on Tuesday and charged with committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity and conspiracy to commit a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity.
On July 18, 2015, Perna followed Dina Manzo's current husband, David Cantin, to a strip mall in Passaic County, New Jersey, and attacked him in the parking lot with a "slap jack" weapon, according to court documents.
In exchange for the violent assault, prosecutors say Manzo fulfilled his agreement to hold the wedding reception at Brownstone Restaurant, which he co-owns.
According to the complaint, Perna is also charged with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud related to the submission of a false car insurance claim, which stem from allegations that Perna falsely reported his Mercedes Benz was stolen and destroyed.
Prosecutors say he made a fraudulent report that his car was stolen when, instead, he and other members of the Lucchese Crime Family staged the theft and then set the car on fire.
Manzo faces an additional charge of falsifying and concealing records related to the federal investigation of the violent crime.
Both men could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the racketeering charges. They made their initial court appearances Tuesday by video conference before US Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor, the DOJ said.
Dina Manzo appeared as a cast member for three seasons of the Garden State edition of the Housewives series and had her own HGTV show, "Dina's Party." She and Thomas "Tommy" Manzo were long-separated before they officially divorced in 2016 and she married Cantin in 2017.
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