Former “RHONJ” star Dina Manzo’s ex-husband pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges he hired a Mafia hitman to beat up her current spouse.
Tommy Manzo appeared via Zoom before a federal court for allegedly hiring Lucchese crime family soldier John Perna to carry out an attack on the reality star’s now-hubby in exchange for a discount wedding reception at the Manzo family catering hall in Patterson, N.J.
The 55-year-old, who was given $100,000 bail by federal Judge Cathy L. Waldor, was hit charges of committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering, assault with a dangerous weapon and falsifying records, each of which carries a 20-year maximum sentence and $250,000 fine.
If he makes bail, he will be under supervision and must surrender his passports and travel documents.
Perna, 43, was arraigned Tuesday on the same charges and also pleaded not guilty to beating up victim Dave Cantin — who was dating Dina at the time of the July 2015 attack. He also was hit with a count of insurance fraud for falsely reporting his Mercedes Benz was destroyed in 2016 after setting it on fire with other Lucchese mobsters.
He was given the same bail conditions as Manzo, except he will also be under 24-hour supervision and home incarceration with electronic monitoring.
Federal officials said that 330 people, including “many members” of the Lucchese crime family, attended Perna’s August 2015 ceremony and prosecutors alleged in their indictment that Tommy falsified and hid records related to the federal investigation of the assault when federal grand jury subpoenas were sent to the Brownstone.
In November 2019, agents with the FBI executed a search warrant at the Brownstone Restaurant and seized invoices for the August 2015 Perna wedding reception and other relevant documents that were not previously turned over.
Manzo’s lawyer, Michael Critchley, had earlier released a statement saying his client is “absolutely innocent, and the allegations more resemble a fictionalized plot of a reality TV show and will be proven to be nothing more than that.”
Tommy and Dina were married for 11 years before their divorce was finalized in 2016 and the alleged attack occurred.
Dina and Cantin were also attacked in a 2017 home invasion. The alleged attacker, James Mainello, was indicted by a grand jury in July 2019 and faces up to 20 years in prison for the crime.
Dina and Cantin tied the knot in May 2019.
Dina and Cantin’s civil attorney, Andrew Brettler, told Page Six on Tuesday 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 deserve.”