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The Real Housewives of New Jersey is known for drama, but even this seems a little extreme for the Bravo reality series. Former cast member Dina Manzo's ex-husband, Thomas Manzo, has been arrested for allegedly planning an assault on her current husband, Dave Cantin, in a bizarre tale that involves mob ties and a wedding reception.
According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of New Jersey, Thomas Manzo and John Perna have been arrested and have both been charged with committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity and conspiracy to commit a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity. Separately, Manzo faces additional charges of falsifying and concealing records related to the federal investigation of the violent crime, and Perna conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud related to the submission of a false car insurance claim. Both men made their initial appearance in court via video conference on June 30.
The alleged assault arrangement took place back in 2015, when Thomas Manzo reportedly contacted John Perna, a "made man" of the Lucchese crime family, to assault Dina's current husband, then-boyfriend. In exchange for a heavy discount for a wedding reception at Manzo's Brownstone Restaurant in Paterson, New Jersey, it was allegedly agreed that Perna would arrange for the assault of Dave Cantin. NJ.com reported the alleged assault of Cantin took place in a strip mall parking lot in July 2015, and that a blackjack was used and left a permanent facial scar. Perna's wedding reception happened in August 2015.
Thomas Manzo's separate charge came from his reported failure to supply requested documents and then submission of false documentation of the reception to the government. The Brownstone was raided by the FBI in November 2019, and the actual records of the event were allegedly retrieved.
Currently, both men are facing a significant amount of prison time and fines if convicted. The aid of racketeering activity charge can result in a maximum 20 year sentence and fine up to $250,000, and the conspiracy to commit the violent crime in aid of racketeering activity could mean 3 years maximum and another fine up to a quarter of a million. Finally, Thomas Manzo can face another max 20 year sentence and $250,000 fine for falsifying and concealing records related to a federal investigation. Long story short, anyone thinking of hiring a mobster really shouldn't.
Both men will presumably see their day in court and are merely accused of the aforementioned charges. Both are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Thomas Manzo has pleaded not guilty (via Extra), as has John Perna.
Real Housewives of New Jersey finished Season 10 (and all that drama) back in March, so all this recent drama will have to wait until next season if it makes it to the show. Stick with CinemaBlend for more on what's happening in the world of television and movies.