One man has been arrested and police are hunting for two more in connection with an alleged scheme to rip off computer parts from HP's Andover facility, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett told the Boston Globe.
The men have been accused of stealing expensive computer CPUs, the chip that acts like the brains of a computer, and replacing them with cheaper versions and letting the machines be sent out to customers.
They allegedly did this as computers were being shipped from a warehouse in Andover, Mass. The men would reportedly wait for a large order to come in and take the CPUs from a small portion of the machines, the DA's office told the Andover Patch.
They allegedly fenced the CPUs online. The retail value of the parts is reported to be about $1 million, the DA says.
It's not clear what kinds of machines might have been targeted. HP's Andover facility handles a lot of what HP calls "technology renewal." That's where it takes older equipment, including servers, PCs, networking gear, and refurbishes it so it can be sold as used equipment.
HP confirmed to Business Insider that it was cooperating with authorities but declined further comment on "an ongoing investigation and legal matter." We pressed for information on if all customers who may have been sold machines with the wrong CPU have been contacted. HP confirmed that any customer with questions or issues should contact the company.
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