Mobster pleads guilty to attack on boyfriend of ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ star

Attacker allegedly paid with discounted wedding reception from Dina Manzo’s ex-husband

Graeme Massie
Friday 18 December 2020 15:13 GMT
Mobster pleads guilty in attack on boyfriend of ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ star
Mobster pleads guilty in attack on boyfriend of ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ star (Andy Kropa /Invision/AP)

A reputed mobster pleaded guilty to an attack on the then boyfriend of former Real Housewives of New Jersey star Dina Manzo.

John Perna, 43, admitted assaulting Dave Cantin in exchange for a lavish and heavily discounted wedding reception at a venue owned by Ms Manzo’s ex-husband.

Mr Cantin, who married Ms Manzo in 2019, was attacked and beaten outside a strip mall in Passaic County, say prosecutors.

Thomas Manzo is accused of hiring Perna, who prosecutors say is a member of the Lucchese crime family, to attack his ex-wife’s love interest.

In return he promised to slash the cost of the reception at his Brownstone venue in Paterson, New Jersey, attended by more than 330 people, said investigators.

The upscale 1880s venue was featured prominently in the reality TV show.

Perna and Manzo were charged with the assault earlier this year by federal prosecutors.

They both face charges of conspiracy and committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity.

Perna, of Cedar Grove, New Jersey, pleaded guilty during a videoconference call in federal court.

Manzo, who was also charged with falsifying and concealing records, pleaded not guilty in June and will go on trial in April 2021.

Prosecutors say that he initially provided false documents about Perna’s wedding and agents found the actual invoices after searching the venue.

A lawyer for Ms Manzo and Mr Cantin said they would not be commenting.

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