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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 10, 2021

Lucchese Crime Family Member Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Aggravated Assault

NEWARK, N.J. – A member of the Lucchese Crime Family was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for planning and carrying out an aggravated assault on the husband of one of the former stars of the Bravo television show “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

John Perna, 44, of Cedar Grove, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to Count One of an indictment charging him with committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity. Judge McNulty imposed the sentence today by videoconference. The indictment also charges Thomas Manzo, 56, of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.

According to documents filed in his case and his statements made in court:

In the spring of 2015, Manzo, one of the owners of the Brownstone Restaurant in Paterson, New Jersey, and the ex-husband of the Bravo star, hired Perna to assault his ex-wife’s new boyfriend (now husband) in exchange for a deeply discounted wedding reception to be held at Manzo’s upscale Passaic County venue. Perna, who is a member of the Lucchese Crime Family, planned and carried out the assault on July 18, 2015, with the help of a member of his crew. Perna was armed with a “slapjack” during the assault. In exchange for committing the assault, Perna held a lavish wedding reception at Manzo’s restaurant a month later for a fraction of the price he would otherwise have paid. The reception was attended by over 330 guests, many of whom were members of the Lucchese Crime Family.

In addition to the prison term, Judge McNulty sentenced Perna to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $17,816 in restitution.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel V. Grady O’Malley and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kendall Randolph of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations in the indictment remaining against Manzo are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
21-262
Updated June 10, 2021