- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for Former Laundromat Owner Sentenced to One Year in Jail for Failing to File Taxes for Six Years
BOSTON — The former owner of multiple laundromats has been sentenced to serve one year in jail in connection with failing to file tax returns for six years, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
On Monday, Worcester Superior Court Judge Daniel Wrenn sentenced Steven R. Bankert, age 64, of North Attleboro, to one year in the House of Correction and ordered him to pay $50,000 in fines following his release. He was immediately committed to serve his sentence.
In January 2020, a Worcester Superior Court jury found Bankert guilty of six counts of the charge of Failure to File Tax Return.
“This defendant scammed the state and all of our taxpayers by not filing taxes for several years,” AG Healey said. “We are grateful to the Department of Revenue for working with us to hold this defendant accountable for his crimes.”
“The Worcester Superior Court’s sentence sends a clear message to those that disregard Massachusetts’ tax laws and fail to file timely returns. They will be held responsible for their illegal conduct,” said DOR Commissioner Geoffrey E. Snyder. “The Department of Revenue remains committed to the pursuit of non-filers and appreciates the efforts of the Attorney General’s Office in supporting that cause.”
The AG’s Office began investigating Bankert in August 2011 after Columbia Gas filed a complaint with the office. 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 AG’s investigation found 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. During the course of that investigation, the AG’s Office learned that the defendant had not filed a Massachusetts tax return for the 2006 through 2011 tax years, even though his laundromats had brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in each of those years.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Gabriel Thornton, with assistance from Financial Investigator Jillian Petruzziello, and Senior Victim Witness Advocate Megan Murphy, all of AG Healey’s Criminal Bureau, as well as Investigators from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigations Bureau.