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Criminal Law

2009

Faculty Scholarship

Boston University School of Law

Phantom-ware

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California Zappers: A Proposal For The Commission For The 21st Century Economy, Richard Thompson Ainsworth Jan 2009

California Zappers: A Proposal For The Commission For The 21st Century Economy, Richard Thompson Ainsworth

Faculty Scholarship

California has not uncovered a single instance of technology-assisted cash skimming - there are no zappers, and no phantomware in California. Is this because Californians are not skimming cash sales with technology, or is this because the California technology works so well that the fraud cannot be detected?

The record in foreign jurisdictions is reasonable clear. Automated sales suppression technology is widely used to skim cash sales, denying the state revenues from consumption taxes that have been paid by the consumer, reducing taxable business profits, and funding a cash hoard out of which unreported employee wages are paid. Government studies …