RHONJ The terrifying mob crimes behind sisters Caroline and Dina Manzo’s feud

On July 18, 2015, David Cantin, the then-fiancé of RHONJ’s Dina Manzo, was attacked outside of a strip mall. Two years later, on May 13, 2017, Dina and David had a home invasion by two masked intruders. One of them pushed Dina against a wall, bound her mouth, kicked her, and stole for $60,000 engagement ring. David was hit with a baseball bat during the attack. Dina’s sister Caroline has always described her family as “thick as thieves,” but there is a disturbing reason why these attacks have severed her tie with her sister.

Dina and David were married the month after the attack, in June 2017, and they now reside in Beverly Hills, California and Dina now publicly goes by “Dina Cantin.” In 2020, five years after the first attack, the brutal truth of the situation came to light.

Tommy Manzo during an appearance on VH1

Dina Manzo’s ex-husband, Thomas “Tommy” Manzo, who is the brother of Caroline Manzo’s husband Albert Manzo, hired men with mafia ties to attack Dina and her partner. Thomas Manzo has been charged in connection with both crimes.

For the first attack in 2015, Thomas hired John Perna, who is allegedly a soldier in the Lucchese crime family according to The Paterson Times, to attack David Cantin. His payment to John Perna was in the form of a hugely discounted (but not free) wedding reception at the Manzo family’s luxury catering facility called The Brownstone. About 330 people attended the party that was held in exchange for the attack. Longtime fans of RHONJ will remember The Brownstone as it was featured heavily while Caroline Manzo was a fixture on the show.

Because Thomas Manzo refused to turn over records from the event to the feds, the FBI raided The Brownstone in November 2019 looking for evidence. Both Thomas Manzo and John Perna were charged with committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity and conspiracy to commit a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity, and they both face 43 years in prison for this crime.

Thomas Manzo was also charged in the 2017 home invasion with “robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, criminal restraint and a weapons offense.”

In May 2021 Thomas Manzo’s attorney Michael Critchley gave this statement: “A reality TV show is more believable than the baseless claims against Tom Manzo. The indictment is much ado about nothing and Tom Manzo looks forward to ending this nonsense once and for all at trial.” Two years prior to Thomas Manzo’s arrest, another man with connections to the Luchese mob family named James “Jimmy Balls” Mainello was arrested and charged. Jimmy Balls has a criminal record dating back to the 1980s. In 1994 he was sentenced to nine years in prison for a burglary. In 2005 he was charged with being part of an organized crime conspiracy. He was sentenced to 46 months in prison and three months of house arrest with the stipulation that he not “associate with any member or associate of the Luchese organized crime family.”

Read More: Man with past mob ties charged with beating RHONJ star in robbery | https://nj1015.com/what-happens-when-you-f-with-paterson-arrest-in-rhonj-attack/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

During the 2017 violent attack, both Dina and David were bound with zip ties and one of the men told them: “This is what happens when you f*** with people from Paterson” as he took off Dina’s ring. Along with Dina’s expensive ring, they also stole $500 in cash from David’s wallet. Dina was kicked and punched in the face and David was hit in the face with a baseball bat, which broke his nose. David was able to free himself and call police after 10 p.m. that night. Both David and Dina were treated at a hospital and recovered from their injuries.

Tommy Manzo was released from jail a few days after his arrest and is currently awaiting trial. The judge freed him because he was deemed to not be a flight risk based on his “high profile in the community, lack of criminal record and numerous letters of reference from members of the community, including members of the clergy and law enforcement.” One of those letters of reference came from Dina’s own sister, Caroline Manzo.

Tommy Manzo in jail

Tommy Manzo in jail.

Why Dina and Caroline aren’t talking

Caroline Manzo has always described her family as “thick as thieves,” but apparently when there are multiple families involved, her loyalty applies to her husband’s family: the Manzos. Caroline, Dina and Chris, who all appeared on the Bravo show, are siblings with the surname “Laurita.” There are eleven Laurita siblings in total.

Calorine’s oldest song, Albie Jr., revealed on his podcast that his mother wrote a letter in support of Thomas Manzo. “This is why I respect my mother so much. She made a choice that she knew going in was going to be extraordinarily unpopular — that could’ve been easily twisted into something that it isn’t — but she made it anyway because she felt it was the right thing to do,” Ablie said, praising his mother for writing the letter.

During the October 2016 filming of the Season 7 reunion, Andy asked Jacqueline Laurito, who is married to Dina and Caroline’s brother Christ, when was the last time they had spoken to Dina. Jacqueline said that she and her sister-in-law Dina sometimes text about promoting each other’s products on social media, but at that time Jacqueline had not seen Dina in a “couple of years.” She said she was “very peaceful” with Dina, and thought that the issue would sort itself out with time.

The next year (2017) at the Season 8 reunion, Teresa Giudice said that she was still friends with Dina, and had just visited her in California. Andy Cohen asked Teresa about Dina’s robbery, which occurred the day of Audriana Giudice’s communion. Dina Manzo is Audriana’s godmother, and was present for Audriana’s christening, so it makes sense that she was back in Jersey for this special religious event. At that point Teresa said that police was still investigating the home invasion.

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