John Perna Biography — Wiki
John Perna is a member of the Lucchese crime family who has admitted to assaulting the husband of former Real Housewives of New Jersey star Dina Manzo in exchange for a deeply-discounted lavish wedding reception.
Perna, of Cedar Grove, New Jersey, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a federal charge of committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity.
John Perna Age
John Perna is 43 years old.
John Perna background
Prosecutors allege Perna was hired by the reality star’s ex-husband, Thomas Manzo, to assault her then-boyfriend and now husband, Dave Cantin five years ago.
Perna and a mobster associate attacked Cantin with a slapjack, a club weapon, in the parking lot of a New Jersey strip mall in July 2015, according to prosecutors.
The incident left Cantin, who married Dina in 2017, with a permanent facial scar.
A month after the attack, John Perna held a wedding reception for 330 guests at Thomas Manzo’s Brownstone Restaurant in Paterson, New Jersey, for ‘a fraction of the price,’ authorities said. Perna now faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he’s sentenced on April 28.
Both Manzo and Perna were arrested in June and charged with conspiracy and committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity.
Manzo has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
What we know so far
Prosecutors alleged the 55-year-old was angry that Dina, who appeared in the RHONJ’s first two seasons, had moved in with her new boyfriend shortly after they had separated. Manzo and Dina were married for seven years before separating in 2012 and finalizing their divorce in 2016.
Prosecutors said Manzo allegedly gave John Perna personal information about his ex-wife’s boyfriend, including his residence and business addresses and details on his vehicle, in a bid to help track Cantin down.
In exchange for carrying out the attack, Manzo offered Perna a generous discount to host a lavish wedding at his restaurant.
Manzo co-owns the Brownstone venue with his brother Albert. The venue appeared in episodes of the RHONJ when Dina was on the show.
The wedding Perna held was paid for by another Lucchese associate and close friend of Manzo’s.
In addition to arranging the alleged assault, Manzo is also accused of falsifying and concealing records when federal authorities investigating the assault subpoenaed the venue for documents related to the wedding.