“We don’t run from things like this, we address them, and I feel comfortable with that because we are being painted with a brush that does not reflect who we are as people,” Caroline Manzo said.
Caroline Manzo is married to Thomas’ brother, Albert Manzo. The Manzo brothers jointly own The Brownstone event hall, the family business featured in the early seasons of RHONJ. Dina and Thomas split in 2012 after seven years of marriage, and Dina married Cantin in June, 2017.
On Tuesday, Thomas Manzo was arrested with John Perna, 43, an alleged organized criminal, in New Jersey. They were charged for planning and executing an assault on Cantin in exchange for a discounted wedding reception.
According to legal docs, Thomas was “upset” about Cantin’s relationship with his ex-wife, and “planned to have a violent assault committed on” Cantin “that would leave a permanent facial scar.” Dina and Cantin were dating at the time of the attack.
In early 2015, Thomas Manzo “offered to hold the reception for free or at a deeply discounted price if” Perna “would commit or cause to be committed a violent assault” on Cantin, the indictment alleges.
In July 2015, John Perna and an accomplice followed Cantin “to a strip mall in Passaic County, New Jersey,” where the duo “attacked” Cantin “in the parking lot,” according to the doc.
John Perna allegedly “used a dangerous weapon, namely a slap jack, with the intent to inflict serious permanent injury” on Cantin.
In “return for the commission of the violent assault,” Thomas “fulfilled his agreement to hold the reception at a free or discounted price,” the documents claim.
U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced that Thomas Manzo and John Perna had been charged with committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity and conspiracy to commit a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity. Perna was also charged with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud connected to the submission of a false car insurance claim. Thomas was additionally charged with falsifying and concealing records related to the federal investigation of the violent crime.
Thomas Manzo pleaded not guilty to the charges via Zoom, on Tuesday. Thomas’ bail has been set for $100k. John Perna also pleaded not guilty.