Thomas Manzo, the ex-husband of Dina Manzo from the “ The Genuine Housewives of New Jersey,” pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges he supposedly employed a guy to assault her current hubby, Dave Cantin.
Thomas Manzo appeared in federal court by means of Zoom after he was arrested in New Jersey for apparently employing a reputed mobster, John Perna, to perform an assault on Cantin in exchange for a “extravagant” wedding party, federal prosecutors said.
Thomas Manzo’s attorney, Michael Critchley, participated in a plea of not guilty for the charges of dedicating a violent criminal activity in aid of racketeering activity, conspiracy to dedicate a violent crime in help of racketeering activity and falsifying and concealing records connected to the federal examination of the violent criminal offense.
Perna, 43, who was likewise present for the arraignment, pleaded not guilty to devoting a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity, conspiracy to commit a violent crime in help of racketeering activity and conspiracy to commit wire and mail scams related to the submission of a false vehicle insurance claim.
If convicted, both offenders deal with an optimum jail sentence of 20 years and a $250,000 fine for the count of devoting a violent criminal activity in aid of racketeering activity. The 2nd count of conspiracy to devote a violent criminal offense in help of racketeering activity carries a maximum prison sentence of 3 years together with a $250,000 fine.
Manzo’s added fee of falsifying and hiding court records also features an optimum prison sentence of 20 years, if convicted, as does Perna’s additional count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail scams.
According to the indictment submitted in late June, Thomas Manzo presumably hired Perna in the spring of 2015 to attack his ex-wife’s then-boyfriend, Cantin, in exchange for a deeply-” marked down” wedding party at a Paterson, N.J., restaurant, the Brownstone, where Thomas Manzo is an owner, district attorneys stated. The supposed assault occurred in July 2015.
The following month, Perna held a “extravagant” wedding party at the dining establishment for a fraction of the cost, district attorneys stated. More than 330 individuals went to, consisting of lots of members of the Lucchese criminal activity family, authorities stated.
Prior to Wednesday’s arraignment, Critchley informed Page 6 his customer is “definitely innocent, and the claims more look like a fictionalized plot of a truth TV show, and will be proven to be absolutely nothing more than that.”
Meanwhile, Dina Manzo and Cantin’s civil attorney, Andrew Brettler, informed the outlet that ” both of them were victims of a horrific home invasion and attack. We have complete faith in the law enforcement authorities to see that Dina and Dave get the justice they are worthy of.”
Dina Manzo appeared on 4 seasons of “ The Genuine Housewives of New Jersey” prior to formally leaving in 2015 to move to California, where she married Cantin in 2017.
She has one child, Lexi, from a previous relationship.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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