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State govs saying 'No thanks' to mystery laptops

Officials in West Virginia, Vermont, Wyoming and Washington state have reported receiving between three and five laptops, each over the course of two separate deliveries — but none had ordered any of them.

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Even during tight budgetary times, a growing handful of state governors are proving too wary to accept laptop computers that have shown up at their offices this month, unsolicited.

Officials in West Virginia, Vermont, Wyoming and Washington state have reported receiving between three and five laptops, each over the course of two separate deliveries — but none had ordered any of them.

“They immediately raised a red flag,” said Matt Turner, spokesman for West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin. “No one said, ’Hey, we got a free gift.”’

The laptops were made by Hewlett-Packard or come from its Compaq brand. The world’s leading PC maker intercepted a shipment to at least one other state, according to a bulletin issued by the National Governors Association in response to the suspicious deliveries.

“HP is aware that fraudulent state government orders recently have been placed for small amounts of HP equipment. HP took prompt corrective action to address the fraudulent orders and is working with law enforcement personnel on a criminal investigation,” the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company said in a statement, declining further comment.

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