RHONJ’s Dina Manzo’s Ex-Husband Found Guilty in Assault Plot

Real Housewives of New Jersey alum Dina Manzo’s ex-husband, Thomas Manzo, was found guilty on charges of planning an assault on the reality TV star’s current husband, Dave Cantin.

Thomas, 59, planned the assault and offered a lavish wedding reception in exchange for the attack, according to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.

“Thomas Manzo hired a soldier in the Lucchese Crime Family to carry out a vicious assault on his ex-wife’s then-boyfriend, causing the victim to suffer significant injuries,” Sellinger said on Tuesday, June 4, per the United States Attorney’s Office. “As a unanimous jury found, Manzo committed multiple offenses by providing a free wedding in exchange for the assault and then concealing documents relating to that wedding. He will now face just punishment for his crimes.”

Thomas’ conviction comes after a two-and-a-half-week trial and was convicted on “one count of committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity, one count of conspiracy to commit a violent crime in aid of racketeering resulting in serious bodily injury, and one count of falsifying and concealing documents related to a federal investigation.”

FBI – Newark Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy added, “Manzo now faces a lengthy federal prison sentence because he chose to hire a ‘made man’ to carry out an assault on his ex-wife’s boyfriend. He then gave away a free wedding and hid the documents to cover it up. The facts and circumstances in this case read like something from a bad TV crime drama, but the evidence and testimony presented in court prove it was reality. We truly hope the victims in this investigation are able to move on with their lives and forget about Manzo and his criminal mafia bedfellows.”


Evidence and documents provided in the trial revealed that Thomas hired Lucchese Crime Family soldier John Perna, a “made man” in the Lucchese Crime Family. Perna worked with his own associates to plan and “violently assault” Dina’s husband on July 18, 2015. Manzo then hosted Perna’s wedding reception at his venue for free. When authorities investigated the assault, they discovered that Manzo had “concealed and falsified documents related to the Perna wedding in response to a grand jury subpoena.”

Manzo is now facing up to $500,000 in fines and a maximum of 43 years in prison. Sentencing has been scheduled for October 15.

Perna, 44, was previously charged with the assault in December 2020. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to 30 months in prison in June 2021.

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