An owner of the Brownstown House hired a mobster to assault his ex-wife’s then-boyfriend in exchange for a lavish wedding reception at the upscale Paterson banquet hall, according to charges filed by U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.
Thomas Manzo, 55, of Franklin Lakes, and John Perna, 43, of Cedar Grove, were arrested on Tuesday, authorities said. Each has been charged by indictment with committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity and conspiracy to commit a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity.
Perna, a solider in the Lucchese Crime Family, is also charged with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud related to submission of a false car insurance claim, authorities said. Manzo is additionally charged with falsifying and concealing records related to the federal investigation of the violent crime.
Manzo allegedly hired Perna in spring 2015 to carry out the attack. He allegedly offered Perna a deeply discounted wedding reception at the Brownstone. Perna, a “made man” in the Lucchese Crime Family with his own crew, allegedly planned and carried out the assault against the then-boyfriend in July 2015.
Manzo’s ex-wife, Dina Manzo, is a star in the Bravo television show “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”
Perna held a lavish wedding at the Brownstone in August 2015 for a fraction of the price. The event was paid for by another Lucchese associate and close friend of Manzo’s. Approximately 330 people attended the wedding reception, including many members of the Lucchese Crime Family, authorities said.
Federal authorities investigating the assault sought information about the wedding reception, but Manzo stymied their effort, authorities said.
Manzo failed to turn over documents in response to federal grand jury subpoenas. He is accused of deliberately submitting a false document and certification about the wedding reception to the government, authorities said.
In November 2019, FBI agents raided the Brownstone House on West Broadway in Paterson and seized invoices for the wedding reception and other documents that were not turned over.
Separately, Perna, just before starting a state prison sentence in January 2016, filed a false insurance claim that his Mercedes Benz was stolen and destroyed, authorities said. He filed the claim for the balance due on the Mercedes Benz.
Authorities said Perna allegedly staged the vehicle theft and arson with other members of the Lucchese Crime Family.
Perna faces a maximum of 43 years in prison if convicted. Manzo also faces a maximum of 43 years in prison if convicted.