Disbarred real estate attorney Luigi Rosabianca was arrested Tuesday and indicted on six counts of grand larceny for allegedly stealing more than $4.4 million from clients, The Real Deal has learned.
Rosabianca was arraigned in New York State Supreme Court on one count of first-degree grand larceny and five counts of second-degree grand larceny. A judge set bail at $4.5 million, with the case adjourned to January, according to law enforcement officials.
The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. is charging Rosabianca — the founder of law firm Rosabianca & Associates and brokerage WIRE International Realty — with stealing more than $4.4 million in real estate proceeds from six different clients. He is being held at the Manhattan Detention Complex in Chinatown. A call to his law firm was not returned.
A prominent real estate attorney who specialized in representing high-net-worth foreign buyers, Rosabianca was disbarred earlier this year after the courts found that he violated the terms of a prior suspension. The Appellate Division First Department had suspended him from practicing law in March, after finding evidence that he mishandled client funds and refused to cooperate with an investigation.
At the time of disbarment, the court also appointed a receiver to oversee Rosabianca’s attorney trust account in light of evidence that he made improper transfers – including $1.5 million in client funds to “what was believed to be an Italian banking or investment firm.”
In previous WIRE press releases, Rosabianca was identified as a principal and broker of record for the firm, and was quoted as saying that the company had “experienced great transactional success in the U.S. with Americans and foreign nationals alike.”
But after his suspension, Rosabianca told TRD that he was no longer affiliated with WIRE and had no management or ownership in the firm.