Ex-laundromat owner found guilty of stealing natural gas

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — The former owner of several Massachusetts laundromats has been found guilty of stealing more than $200,000 worth of natural gas by tampering with meters.

Steven Bankert, of North Attleborough, was convicted Wednesday of 10 counts of willful injury or interference with a gas meter and six counts of larceny.

Prosecutors say the 60-year-old Bankert, a formerly licensed electrician, manipulated gas meters at six laundromats he owned in Attleboro, Brockton, Lawrence and Worcester between 2008 and 2012. Prosecutors say Bankert stole more than $200,000 from Columbia Gas and NStar.

An investigation began after Columbia Gas filed a complaint.

Bankert had previously been convicted of stealing water from the Attleboro Water Department in 2008. The conviction was later overturned.

(Copyright (c) 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)