DA Vance: Attorney Indicted for Stealing More Than $4.4 Million From Six Clients’ Real Estate Proceeds

October 28, 2015

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the indictment of LUIGI ROSABIANCA, 40, an attorney, for stealing more than $4.4 million from six of his clients’ real estate proceeds. ROSABIANCA is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with one count of Grand Larceny in the First Degree, as well as five counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree.[1] 

“Instead of faithfully representing his clients, this attorney is accused of stealing millions from the proceeds of their real estate transactions,” said District Attorney Vance. “Though the massive theft alleged here sets this case apart from other recent prosecutions of attorneys, the victims’ stories are quite familiar: a now-widower caring for his terminally ill wife, a woman without the capacity to consent to the use of her estate’s funds, and many more. Even after being suspended from practicing law, this defendant portrayed himself as a lawyer in good standing and allegedly continued to steal from his clients. I encourage anyone who believes that he or she may have been the victim of this type of fraud to call my Office’s Financial Frauds Bureau hotline at 212-335-8900.”

According to the indictment and documents filed in court, ROSABIANCA, owner of Rosabianca & Associates, a former downtown boutique law firm, allegedly stole more than $4.4 million in proceeds from his clients’ real estate transactions by withdrawing and misappropriating funds held in his attorney escrow account beginning in June 2013. ROSABIANCA misappropriated funds resulting from the sale of real property in which he represented either the buyer or the seller of the property, and used the money for personal expenses or to pay back money stolen from previous victims. 

In one instance, ROSABIANCA stole more than $630,000 in proceeds from the sale of a client’s apartment. That client had been unable to attend the closing of the real estate transaction due to his wife’s failing health. 

To cover his fraud, ROSABIANCA paid that client approximately $455,000 by stealing from an estate whose sole heir was a woman suffering from schizophrenia and unable to care for herself. ROSABIANCA served as the attorney for the estate and sold the family’s home after petitioning for the schizophrenic woman to be named the administrator of her late father’s estate, representing to the Queens Surrogates Court that that she had the capacity to serve as administrator. He subsequently exhausted the estate account of nearly all of its assets for his own business and personal use, including to repay the first client. 

In another alleged theft in January and February of 2015, ROSABIANCA stole more than $1.75 million owed to a couple upon the sale of their apartment, and used more than $1 million of those funds to complete a separate real estate transaction. That couple is currently owed more than $1.49 million. 

On March 12, 2015, ROSABIANCA was suspended from the practice of law by the Departmental Disciplinary Committee, First Judicial Department, following complaints from his clients, and then disbarred in July 2015. Though he was suspended, ROSABIANCA engaged in two separate real-estate transactions while claiming to be a licensed real-estate attorney. ROSABIANCA stole from the proceeds of each of those transactions, including more than $300,000 from an Italian woman who sold her apartment to relieve financial pressures in Italy.  

Assistant District Attorneys William Furber and Jaime Hickey-Mendoza are handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Archana Rao, Principal Deputy Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau; Assistant District Attorney Michael Sachs, Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau; and Executive Assistant District Attorney David Szuchman, Chief of the Investigation Division. Financial Investigator Michael Frenza, Senior Investigator Patrick Ludlow, and Trial Preparation Assistant Morgan Brock-Smith assisted with the investigation.

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.

Defendant Information:

New York, NY


  • Grand Larceny in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 5 counts