The ex-husband of a former star of the Real Housewives Of New Jersey has been indicted for allegedly hiring a member of the Lucchese Crime Family to carry out an assault of the reality star’s current husband in exchange for a lavish wedding reception, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Thomas ‘Tommy’ Manzo, 55, of Franklin Lakes, and the ex-husband of Dina Cantin (formerly Manzo), allegedly hired John Perna, 43, of Cedar Grove, in the spring of 2015 to assault his ex-wife’s then-boyfriend in exchange for a deeply-discounted wedding reception at The Brownstone in Paterson, where Tommy is an owner, according to the indictment.
You can’t make this mess up. Tommy hired a man to beat up his ex-wife’s boyfriend so the man could get a deep discount on a wedding venue.
According to the indictment, Tommy allegedly provided Perna personal information about his ex-wife’s boyfriend, including his residence, business addresses and vehicle, to help Perna locate the man in order to assault him, as Tommy allegedly requested.
In July 2015, Perna and another man allegedly involved in the Lucchese Crime Family, located the boyfriend and his vehicle and followed him to a strip mall in Passaic County, where they allegedly attacked the man, according to the indictment.
Perna allegedly used a slap jack with “the intent to inflict serious permanent injury” during the assault, according to the indictment. The alleged attack left the man with a permanent facial scar, authorities said.
In return, Perna held a “lavish wedding reception at Manzo’s restaurant for a fraction of the price” in August 2015, which was allegedly paid for by another Lucchese associate and close friend of Manzo’s, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. There were more than 330 attendees at the wedding, including many members of the crime family, authorities said.
Manzo and Perna are each charged by indictment with committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity and conspiracy to commit a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity.
Federal investigators launched an investigation into the alleged assault shortly after it occurred in July 2015, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Federal grand jury subpoenas were sent to The Brownstone restaurant seeking documents related to Perna’s August 2015 wedding reception, but Manzo allegedly failed to provide the requested documents and “deliberately submitted a false document regarding the reception to the government, along with a false certification,” authorities said.
The documents were later seized in November 2019 when the federal authorities executed a search warrant at The Brownstone and obtained the invoices and other documents related to the wedding reception that were not originally turned over, authorities said.
Tommy is also indicted for allegedly falsifying and concealing records related to the federal investigation of the violent crime.
Tommy’s attorney, Michael Critchley, said his client is innocent of all the charges.
“The allegations more resemble a fictional plot of a reality TV show and will be proven to be absolutely and totally false as it relates to Thomas Manzo,” Critchley said.