BOSTON — The former owner of multiple laundromats has been sentenced to one year in jail in connection with failing to file tax returns for six years, according to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
Worcester Superior Court Judge Daniel Wrenn sentenced Steven R. Bankert, 64, of North Attleboro, Massachusetts, on Oct. 4 to a year in the House of Correction and ordered him to pay $50,000 in fines following his release. Bankert was immediately committed to serve his sentence.
A Worcester Superior Court jury found Bankert guilty of six counts of the charge of Failure to File Tax Return.
“The defendant scammed the state and all of our taxpayers by not filing taxes for several years,” Healey says. “We are grateful to the Department of Revenue for working with us to hold this defendant accountable for his crimes.”
The AG’s Office began investigating 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 of probation on charges in connection with stealing more than $200,000 in natural gas.
The investigation found that from 2008 to 2012, Bankert, a formerly licensed technician, tampered with 10 gas meters at six laundromats he owned in Attleboro, Brockton, Lawrence and Worcester for the purpose of stealing natural gas. During the course of that probe, the AG’s Office learned the defendant had not filed Massachusetts tax returns for the 2006-2011 tax years, even though the laundromats had brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in each of those years.