On September 20, 2017, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that the former owner of several laundromats had been found guilty of stealing roughly $200,000 from gas companies by tampering with meters. 60-year-old Steven R. Bankert of North Attleboro was found guilty of tampering with gas meters at six of his businesses.
The defendant was found guilty after a jury trial in the Worcester Superior Court. He was found guilty on six counts of larceny over $250 and ten counts of willful injury or interference with gas meter or other property. The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced on October 6, 2017.
The Attorney General’s office initiated an investigation in August of 2011 after receiving a complaint from Columbia Gas. The company suspected that Bankert had been tempering with the meters. The investigation found that the formerly licensed electrician had tampered with ten meters at six laundromats with the intention of stealing natural gas.
Again, the defendant is scheduled to be sentenced on October 6, 2017.