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RHONJ Star Dina Manzo’s Ex-Husband Found Guilty of Hiring Mobster to Attack Her Boyfriend

Real Housewives of New Jersey alum Dina Manzo’s ex-husband, Thomas Manzo, has been convicted of hiring a “reputed mobster” in 2015 to assault her then-boyfriend.

According to the Associated Press, Thomas, 59, was found guilty by a federal jury of “conspiracy, falsifying and concealing documents, and committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity” on Tuesday, June 4.

The outlet reported that Thomas had hired the person to attack Dina’s then-boyfriend —  and now-husband — David Cantin, in exchange for a “free, lavish wedding reception.”

Thomas, who resides in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, is facing up to 46 years in prison for the crime which reportedly took place on July 18, 2015. He will be sentenced on October 15.

The outlet further reported that federal prosecutors described John Perna, the alleged “mobster,” as a “soldier in the Lucchese Crime Family.”

The prosecutors claimed Perna’s wedding reception was staged in August, 2015, at The Brown Stone catering hall in Paterson, New Jersey as reported by ABC News, which is owned by Thomas.

In December, 2020, Perna pleaded guilty to “committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity”, according to the report. He received a two-and-a-half-year sentence behind bars and was released in August, 2023.

ABC News also reported that court records showed Thomas had been “upset” about his ex-wife’s new relationship and wanted the attack to “leave a permanent facial scar.”

In a statement shared by ABC News, FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge Jim Dennehy said, “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.”

In January, Page Six reported that Thomas had attempted to “throw out charges” relating to the 2015 assault. The outlet reported the case centered on a 2020 indictment that said that Thomas “cut a deal with a Lucchese crime family soldier to rough up his ex-wife’s then-boyfriend, David Cantin, in a North Jersey parking lot five years earlier.”

Thomas and Dina, 52, who appeared on the first two seasons of RHONJ and officially departed the Bravo series in 2015, were married in 2007 at The Brown Stone. The highly extravagant wedding aired on the VH1 series, My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding.

The couple separated in 2012 and finalized their divorce in 2016. Dina and Cantin tied the knot in 2017.