When Anthony Digiosaffatte and Paul Villanueva laundered the money nabbed in a bank robbery, authorities say, they took the literal approach — sticking some of the cash in a washing machine to cleanse it of red dye from a special pack that exploded during the heist.
According to criminal complaints, the men stole $65,000 at gunpoint from a bank in Queens on Tuesday.
Referring to the packs of dye banks use to foil robbers by making stolen money unusable, Digiosaffatte told the tellers, "No dye packs," the complaints say.
No such luck. Authorities say that as the men were making off with the loot, a pack exploded, spraying much of the cash with red dye. The pair dropped about $30,000 on the sidewalk outside the bank, officials said, while more was left behind in the getaway car.
Digiosaffatte, 51, and Villanueva, 37, then checked into a motel, where authorities say they stuck the money in mesh laundry bags used to wash delicate clothing.
"They must've washed it many times because the bills were washed out and looked worn down," said Sgt. Robert Young, commander of the FBI and New York Police Department's Joint Bank Robbery Task Force.
Using pictures of people arrested in the area who matched the robbers' descriptions, authorities caught up with Digiosaffatte and Villanueva, who were arrested on Thursday.
The men were ordered held without bail at their arraignment on Friday.