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Ex-Husband of 'RHONJ' Star Dina Cantin Faces Lengthy Prison Sentence for Hiring Mobster to Assault Her Boyfriend

'RHONJ' Star's Ex Convicted of Hiring Mobster to Attack Boyfriend
Source: MEGA

Dina Cantin's ex-husband was found guilty of hiring a member of the mob to attack her then-boyfriend in 2015 and trying to cover it up, authorities said.

Jun. 5 2024, Published 12:23 p.m. ET

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Real Housewives of New Jersey star Dina Cantin's ex-husband was convicted of hiring a member of the mob to assault her then-boyfriend, now husband, in 2015 in exchange for a "lavish" wedding reception, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey announced.

Thomas Manzo, 59, was convicted by a federal jury on June 4 of 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.

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“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,” U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said in a statement. “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.”

In 2015, Manzo hired John Perna, a Lucchese Crime Family soldier, to assault Dave Cantin, who was then the boyfriend of Manzo's ex-wife, Bravo reality TV star Dina Cantin.

According to court records, Manzo was upset about the new relationship, and wanted Cantin to be left with a "permanent facial scar." In return, Manzo offered Perna a free wedding reception at a venue he owned.

Perna, a "made man," worked with his crew to plan and carry out the July 18, 2015, assault. He then held a free wedding reception at Manzo's "upscale" venue. Investigators later found Manzo had falsified documents related to the Perna wedding.

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Perna was previously convicted of the assault in 2021.

Manzo faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the violent crime in aid of racketeering activity count; up to three years in prison for the conspiracy to commit violent crime in aid of racketeering count; and up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the concealing records related to a federal investigation count.

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Sentencing is scheduled for October 15, 2024.

“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,” FBI – Newark Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy said. “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.”

TMX contributed to this report.

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