Dina Manzo’s Ex Tommy Hired Man to Assault Her Current Husband: Feds

Dina Manzo

Getty Dina Manzo in 2014

As Real Housewives of New Jersey star Caroline Manzo once said, “Let me tell you about my family. We’re as thick as thieves and we protect each other ’til the end.”

However, it seems as if that statement may not be exactly true. According to The New York Post, on June 30, former RHONJ star Dina Manzo’s ex-husband, Tommy Manzo, was arrested and pleaded not guilty to federal charges of hiring a “crime family soldier” to beat up David Cantin, Dina Manzo’s current husband. Tommy Manzo’s brother, Albert Manzo, is married to RHONJ star Caroline Manzo (née Laurita).

Dina Manzo and Tommy Manzo became separated in 2012 but did not officially divorce until 2016, according to The New York Post. During the time they were separated and in the process of divorce, Dina Manzo began dating her current husband, David Cantin.

In July 2015, Cantin was attacked in the parking lot of a New Jersey strip mall, according to Bravo. One month later, in August 2015, a man named John Perna had a wedding at the Brownstone House, a banquet hall owned and operated by the Manzo family, according to the Paterson Times. According to charges filed against both men on June 30 by U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito, Tommy Manzo hired John Perna, “a soldier in the Lucchese Crime Family,” according to the Paterson Times, to assault Cantin in that parking lot in exchange for an extremely discounted wedding and reception.

Tommy Manzo and Perna were both charged with conspiracy to commit a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity and committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity, according to Bravo. Additionally, Tommy Manzo was charged with falsifying and concealing records related to the federal investigation of the violent crime, and Perna was indicted with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud related to his submission of a false car insurance claim, Bravo reported.


This Isn’t the First Time Something Like This Has Happened to Dina Manzo

Unfortunately, Dina Manzo and her husband have faced attacks before. According to Bravo, in May 2017, Manzo and Cantin were robbed and beaten at their home in New Jersey during a home invasion. The two men who invaded the home were masked and stole jewelry. A man named James Mainello was arrested in May 2019 and charged with seven counts related to the home invasion, Bravo reported.

Mainello was charged with first-degree robbery; second-degree burglary; second degree aggravated assault; third-degree aggravated assault; third-degree theft; third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose; and third-degree criminal restraint. This incident is unrelated to the one that happened to Cantin in 2015.


The Manzo Family Has Denied Mob Ties

According to The New York Post, Albert and Tommy’s father was a man named Albert “Tiny” Manzo Sr. He was described as “the biggest enforcer in Jersey” in the book Undercover Cop by Mike Russell, the Post reported. Manzo and “Gambino family soldier Peter A. Campisi had reportedly skimmed money from a Mafia-connected casino on Staten Island,” the Post said.

In August 1983, Tiny Manzo was found dead in the trunk of his car outside a supermarket in New Jersey, according to the Post. He was found with four bullet holes in his torso, and his arms and legs were tied up with plastic.

However, the Manzo family has denied having ties to the mafia. “My father was no gangster,” Albert Manzo said to The New York Post. “He was a wonderful, hardworking man. He was never accused of anything else pertaining to being a gangster. The shame of it is that our family were the victims of a murder which was never solved, and it was spun as a mob hit.”

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