WORCESTER, Mass. — The former owner of multiple Laundromats is awaiting sentencing here later this week after being found guilty on charges in connection with failing to file tax returns for six years, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey reports.
Steven R. Bankert, 62, of North Attleboro, was found guilty Jan. 10 following a two-day jury trial and is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in Worcester Superior Court.
“Our investigation revealed that this defendant was not only stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from gas companies, but he was defrauding the state by failing to file tax returns for a number of years,” Healey says. “We are pleased with this verdict and commend the collaborative work of investigators and prosecutors from our office and the Department of Revenue who handled this case.”
The Attorney General’s Office began its investigation of Bankert in August 2011 after Columbia Gas filed a complaint. Bankert was previously found guilty in 2017 and sentenced to one year in jail and four years on probation on charges in connection with stealing more than $200,000 in natural gas.
The investigation determined that from 2008 to 2012, Bankert, a formerly licensed electrician, tampered with 10 gas meters at six Laundromats he owned in Attleboro, Brockton, Lawrence and Worcester for the purpose of stealing natural gas.
Bankert’s sentence on the prior conviction is currently stayed, pending an appeal. The additional tax fraud charges arose out of that investigation, Healey’s office says.