RHONJ: Charges Against Dina Cantin’s Ex-Husband Dismissed


A federal judge has dropped charges against Tommy Manzo, the ex-husband of RHONJ alum Dina Cantin, due to a violation of the Speedy Trial Act.

U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton dismissed a three-count indictment against Thomas “Tommy” Manzo, co-owner of The Brownstone in Paterson, without prejudice. This means that the federal government can reprosecute Tommy but to do so they must obtain a new indictment.

Judge Wigenton “agreed with the argument by Manzo’s lawyers that the federal government failed to begin trial within the timeframe set out by the Speedy Trial Act, noting that since a Newark grand jury indicted Manzo in 2020, there were over a dozen motions delaying trial,” per NorthJersey.com.

Wigenton noted that the “charged offenses are unquestionably serious” but argued that none of the delays “suggest bad faith or a pattern of neglect by the government. Nor does defendant point to any. Instead, defendant’s sole — and conclusory — argument is that the delay was substantial and, thus, inherently prejudicial. This Court is not persuaded.”

Thomas "Tommy" Manzo during a virtual court appearance connected to the case.
RHONJ: Thomas “Tommy” Manzo during a virtual court appearance connected to the case.

“While the delay was certainly substantial, defendant expressly requested it; he asked the government to hold off on prosecuting this action until he resolved his criminal case in state court,” Wigenton continued.

Back in September 2023, it was widely reported that Tommy waived his right to a speedy trial and was seeking a plea deal concerning the 2015 attack his ex-wife Dina Cantin’s new husband, David Cantin.

In 2020, Tommy was indicted on federal charges concerning the 2015 attack on David.

Tommy allegedly hired mobster John Perna of the Lucchese crime family to track down David and leave him with a “permanent facial scar.” This alleged plot occurred after Dina began dating David following her 2012 split with Tommy.

The 55-year-old allegedly offered Perna a discount on his wedding reception at The Brownstone in exchange for the attack on David. The Brownstone is the Manzo family’s catering hall located in Paterson, NJ.

Perna and an associate tracked down David and attacked him outside a Passaic County strip mall on July 18, 2015.

Both Tommy and Perna were arrested in connection to the attack in 2020. Later that year, Perna pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. Per court records, he was released from prison last month.

Dina’s ex-husband was also arrested on May 11, 2021, and was charged with robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, criminal restraint, and stalking.

The younger Manzo brother was allegedly involved in the 2017 home invasion that left the RHONJ OG and her new husband bound, beaten, and robbed.

RHONJ's Dina Manzo and David Cantin pose on red carpet; Tommy Manzo smiles for photo
Tommy Manzo arrested as alleged accomplice in 2017 assault on RHONJ’s Dina Manzo and David Cantin

In May 2017, Dina and Dave, who were living in California, returned to New Jersey to attend the First Holy Communion of Audriana Giudice, the youngest daughter of RHONJ star Teresa Giudice.

After the event, they returned to their Holmdel home, where two were waiting for them. Per records, one of the men, who was identified as “an Italian guy with a North Jersey accent,” allegedly told the  couple, “This is what happens when you f–k with people from Paterson.”

Dina and Dave were tied up, assaulted with a baseball bat, and robbed of $500 and Dina’s new engagement ring.

Per the New York Post, “a hearing in that case is scheduled for April 29, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.”

The RHONJ alum and Tommy separated in 2012 and finalized their divorce in 2016. Dina began dating David in 2015. The two tied the knot in 2017.

As always, stay glued to AllAboutTRH for the latest, greatest, and most exclusive Real Housewives of New Jersey tea on the internet!

RHONJ will return to Bravo for season 14 in 2024.

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