HomeWorldCEO of Election Software Firm Arrested on Identity Theft Charges

CEO of Election Software Firm Arrested on Identity Theft Charges

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The founder and CEO of a software company targeted by election deniers was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of stealing data from hundreds of Los Angeles County poll workers.

Eugene Yu, 51, of Konnech Corporation, was arrested in Meridian Township in Michigan on suspicion of theft of personally identifiable information, while computer hard drives and other “digital evidence” were seized by investigators from the county district attorney, according to the office. .

Local prosecutors will seek his extradition to California.

“We are continuing to determine the details of what we believe to be the wrongful detention of Mr. Yu by Los Angeles County authorities,” Konnech said in a statement that ended: “Any information from Los Angeles County poll workers that Konnech may have possessed was provided to him by Los Angeles County, and therefore could not have been ‘stolen’ as suggested”.

Konnech is a small business based in East Lansing, Michigan. In 2020, it won a five-year, $2.9 million contract with Los Angeles County for software to track poll worker schedules, training, payroll and communications, according to the Registrar-Recorder/Clerk of the County. county, Dean C. Logan.

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Konnech was supposed to keep the data in the United States and only provide access to citizens and permanent residents, but instead stored it on servers in the People’s Republic of China, the prosecutor’s office said.

The prosecutor’s office did not specify what specific information was allegedly taken. But officials said it only involved poll workers, not voting machines or vote counting, and did not alter election results.

“But security in all aspects of any election is essential for all of us to have full confidence in the integrity of the electoral process,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement.

“With the midterm general election 35 days away, our focus remains on ensuring that the administration of this election is not disrupted,” said a statement from Los Angeles County Clerk Dean C. Logan.

There was no evidence that any poll workers had been bribed or extorted and an investigation was pending to determine if any of the data fell into the wrong hands, the prosecutor’s office said.

Konnech previously said that all of his US customer data was stored on servers in the United States, the New York Times reported Monday.

The newspaper reported that Konnech and Yu, who was born in China, became the target of claims by election conspiracy theorists that the company had secret ties to the Chinese Communist Party and had provided information on 2 million poll workers. .

There was no evidence to back up those claims, but Yu received threats and went into hiding, the newspaper said.

Konnech also has contracts with Allen County, Indiana, and DeKalb County, Georgia, the Times said.

On its website, Konnech said it currently has 32 clients in North America.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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