The Real Deal New York

Real estate lawyer Luigi Rosabianca disbarred

Attorney who specialized in foreign buyers was found to have mishandled client funds

July 29, 2015 12:50PM
By Tess Hofmann

Luigi Rosabianca

Luigi Rosabianca

Luigi Rosabianca, a real estate attorney who once bragged that his clients sometimes “come in with suitcases,” was disbarred from practicing law on Tuesday after a court found he violated the terms of his suspension.

Rosabianca’s law license was suspended in March when the New York Appellate Division First Department found evidence that he had mishandled client funds on multiple occasions and failed to follow proper protocols in taking out a $1.8 million personal mortgage.

On Tuesday, the court found that Rosabianca continued to represent clients and accept payments in the weeks following his March 12 suspension. As late as April 29, he was still falsely representing himself as a licensed New York attorney on his web page.

“The [Departmental Disciplinary Committee’s] motion to disbar respondent without further proceedings is granted based upon the uncontroverted evidence that respondent has continued to practice law in violation of this Court’s prior suspension order,” wrote Justice Peter Tom, on behalf of a unanimous panel.

Tuesday’s order also appointed a receiver to oversee Rosabianca’s attorney trust account, in light of evidence that he made improper transfers, including transferring $1.5 million in client funds to “what was believed to be an Italian banking or investment firm.”

In a New York Magazine article published last summer, Rosabianca was identified as the founder of WIRE International Realty, a brokerage catering to foreign buyers. “Sometimes they come in with wires,” Rosabianca told New York Magazine of his foreign clients. “Sometimes they come in with suitcases.”

But in March, he told The Real Deal he was no longer affiliated with WIRE.

Counsel for Rosabianca declined to comment for this story, and the phone number for Rosabianca’s former law office, Rosabianca & Associates, was disconnected. Representatives from the Departmental Disciplinary Committee were not immediately available.