Case against ‘Real Housewives’ star Dina Manzo’s ex dropped after he allegedly hired goon to rough up her new beau — but he’s not out of trouble yet: court docs - Apkcombat

Case against ‘Real Housewives’ star Dina Manzo’s ex dropped after he allegedly hired goon to rough up her new beau — but he’s not out of trouble yet: court docs

Just when he thought he was out of court, they may pull him back in.

The racketeering case against the ex-husband of “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Dina Manzo was dismissed – but he’ll likely be re-indicted in a slate of “quite serious” mob-related crimes.

Tommy Manzo was accused of hiring a soldier from the Lucchese crime family to rough up his famous ex-wife’s new beau — but his attorneys filed for the dismissal in January on grounds that the years-old case had taken too long and violated the federal Speedy Trial Act.

The feds agreed — but asked in their own filing that Newark federal Judge Susan Wigenton dismiss the case without prejudice so they could re-indict the troubled 58-year-old from the ritzy suburb of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.

Tommy Manzo in custody.
Tommy Manzo allegedly had Dina’s new husband beat up twice in two years — and he has separate state and federal cases against him as a result. Thomas P. Costello via NJ Courts via Imagn Content Services, LLC
Dina Manzo and Dave Cantin
Dina Manzo and current husband, entrepreneur David Cantin. Cantin has twice been the alleged victim of Tommy Manzo’s wrath. @dina

And that’s exactly what the judge did late last month, issuing a Feb. 22 order that cast the case aside but which allowed prosecutors to still shoot for an April trial — provided they secure another grand jury indictment before then.

“The charged offenses are unquestionably serious,” Wigenton wrote, adding that the breadth of the alleged crimes and the substantial prison sentence Manzo faces weighed in prosecutors’ favor.

Still, Manzo’s lawyers celebrated the ruling.

“Mr. Manzo is pleased that the court dismissed the indictment,” defense attorney Zach Intrater said in a statement. “He is looking to move forward with his life and career.”

A spokesman for the New Jersey US Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

Wigenton’s ruling is the latest turn in the years-long legal saga that began when the feds indicted Manzo in 2020 for allegedly cutting a deal with mob capo John Perna to beat up David Cantin, Dina Manzo’s then-boyfriend.

In return, the restaurateur promised Perna — the son of reputed Lucchese capo Ralph Perna — a deeply discounted wedding at Manzo’s catering hall, The Brownstone in Paterso.

Dina Manzo, a reality TV star who rose to fame on "Real Housewives of New Jersey."
Dina Manzo, of “Real Housewives of New Jersey” fame. Getty Images

“Manzo was outraged that his former wife became romantically involved with another man,” prosecutors said in court documents. “Rather than accept that, as law-abiding individuals do, Manzo wanted to extract physical revenge. Unwilling or incapable of doing so directly, he leveraged his catering hall.”

Perna and a member of his crew allegedly caught up with Cantin in the parking lot of a North Jersey strip mall in July 2015 and worked him over with a slapjack — leaving the hapless entrepreneur battered and scarred, court documents said.

Legal experts told The Post it probably won’t be hard for federal prosecutors to secure a new indictment — but the delay might hurt their case in other ways, especially when it comes to the witness testimony they’ll need for a second grand jury presentation.

“Witnesses become unavailable, they move, they retire — and if they’re an elderly person, they may have issues with their memory anyway,” Laura Sutnick, a New Jersey criminal defense attorney and former Brooklyn prosecutor, told The Post in a recent interview.

“As you remove yourself from a situation, you remember less and less detail,” she continued. “And what makes a criminal case strong is when witnesses can give details, because details have the ring of truth.”

The Brownstone
The Manzo family owns The Brownstone, a catering hall in Paterson, New Jersey. Christopher Sadowski

It also may give defense attorneys the opportunity to tease out inconsistencies in the stories the witnesses present — people often describe events differently the second time around, she added.

John Perna
Reputed mafioso John Perna. New Jersey AG

“That can affect the strength of the government’s case as well,” Sutnick said.

Perna pleaded to committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity and was sent to the slammer for nearly three years in June 2021. He was released last August.

Manzo has been charged with committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering, conspiracy, and falsifying and concealing records related to a federal investigation.

But even as remains free on bail, he’s lived beneath the looming specter of the federal case — as well as pending state charges in Monmouth County that claim he and another man broke into Dave and Dina’s home in Holmdel, New Jersey, and beat them with bats before robbing them in May 2017.

The next hearing in that case is April 29, state prosecutors told The Post.

Manzo had married Dina in an over-the-top 2005 wedding chronicled on the VH1 reality series “My Big Fabulous Wedding.”

But they split in 2012 over his alleged infidelity, “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Kim DePaola told The Post in 2020 — though the couple didn’t officially divorce until 2016.

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