Election software company CEO detained for identity theft

ByLance T. Lee

Oct 7, 2022

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated to remove an incorrect photo provided by The Associated Press.

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

Eugene Yu, 51, of Konnech Corporation, was arrested in Meridian Township, Michigan on suspicion of stealing personal identification information, while computer hard drives and other “digital evidence” were found. was seized by investigators from the county attorney’s office, according to the office.

Local prosecutors will seek his extradition to California.

“We continue to verify the details of what we believe to be Mr. Yu’s wrongful detention by LA County authorities,” Konnech said in a statement that ended: “All data from LA County election officials that Konnech may have possessed were provided to him by LA County, and therefore could not have been “stolen” as suggested.

Konnech is a small company based in East Lansing, Michigan. In 2020, he won a five-year, $2.9 million contract with LA County for software to track election worker schedules, training, payroll and communications, according to the county clerk/ County Clerk, Dean C. Logan.

Konnech was required to store 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 DA’s office said.

The prosecutor’s office did not specify what specific information would have been taken. But officials said it only affected poll workers, not voting machines or vote counting, and did not change election results.

“But security in all aspects of any election is essential for all of us to have complete 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 to ensure that the administration of this election is not disrupted,” said a statement from Dean C. Logan, LA County Clerk/Clerk. .

There was no evidence that any election worker was bribed or extorted and an investigation was underway to determine if any of the data fell into the wrong hands, the prosecutor’s office said.

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

The newspaper reported that Konnech and Yu, who were 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 people. voters.

There was no evidence to support these 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 reported.

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

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