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Ex-Husband of 'Real Housewives' Star Convicted of Racketeering, Obstruction

Bergen County


By: Richard L. Smith 

Thomas Manzo, ex-husband of a cast member from Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," has been found guilty of orchestrating an attack on his ex-wife's current husband in return for an extravagant wedding reception, announced U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.

Federal officials said Manzo, 59, from Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, was convicted after a two-and-a-half-week trial presided over by U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court.

The charges against him included committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to commit such a crime resulting in serious injury, and falsifying and concealing documents related to a federal investigation.

Broadcast "Thomas Manzo employed a member of the Lucchese Crime Family to carry out a brutal assault on his ex-wife’s then-boyfriend, inflicting serious injuries," stated U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.

"As determined by a unanimous jury, Manzo committed multiple crimes by providing a free wedding in exchange for the assault and subsequently concealing related documents. He will now face appropriate consequences for his actions."

"Manzo is now facing a substantial federal prison sentence for hiring a ‘made man’ to assault his ex-wife’s boyfriend," said FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy.

"He orchestrated a free wedding and hid the documents to cover his actions. While the details resemble a plot from a poor TV crime drama, the evidence and testimony confirmed it was reality. We hope the victims can move on and leave Manzo and his criminal associations behind."

The case documents and trial evidence revealed that in the spring of 2015, Manzo hired Lucchese Crime Family soldier John Perna to assault his ex-wife’s then-boyfriend. In return, Perna received a free wedding reception at an upscale venue owned by Manzo. Perna, a "made man" in the Lucchese Crime Family, coordinated the violent assault on July 18, 2015, with his associates.

In exchange, Perna hosted a lavish wedding at Manzo’s venue for free.

During the assault investigation, Manzo concealed and falsified documents related to the wedding in response to a grand jury subpoena.


The charge of committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The conspiracy charge carries a potential penalty of three years in prison, and the charge of falsifying and concealing records related to a federal investigation carries a potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for October 15, 2024.