MORENO VALLEY, Calif. - A new scam is being called a product of the latest technology.
Sales tax suppression software is allowing retailers to illegally make their sales tax records disappear.
The software is known as Zapper. It gives unscrupulous businesses a way to erase sales transactions at the point of sale. With no record of the sale, a business avoids paying sales tax.
The state Board of Equalization believes this form of tax fraud is costing the state about $200 million a year in sales tax dollars.
"In response, the Board has acquired new forensic tools for identifying this," said Randy Silva, the chief of investigations for the Board of Equalization. "We're in the process of training all our auditors -- so for those that are involved in this kind of activity, they need to be aware that the board is coming."
A new state law on the books this year is aimed at countering the use of the Zapper program. Anyone caught selling or using it could face up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.