LOS ANGELES (AP) – The founder and CEO of a software company targeted by vote-resisters was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of stealing data on hundreds of poll workers in Los Angeles County.
Eugene Yu, 51, of Konnech Corporation, was arrested in Meridian Township, Michigan and being held on suspicion of stealing personal identification information while computer hard drives and other “digital evidence” were seized by district attorney’s office investigators, the office said.
Local prosecutors will seek his extradition to California.
Konnech also has contracts with Allen County, Indiana, and DeKalb County in Georgia, the New York Times said.
“We continue to determine the details of what we believe to be the unlawful detention of Mr. Yu by LA County authorities,” Konnech said in a statement, which concluded, “Any LA County election official data that Konnech may have possessed was provided to him by him provided to LA County, and therefore could not have been ‘stolen’ as suggested.”
The Allen County Election Board said in a statement Wednesday that the software is used to manage poll workers and is not linked to election results, voting or voting machines, but that the board is still investigating the situation.
Konnech is a small company based in East Lansing, Michigan. In 2020, it won a five-year, $2.9 million contract with LA County for software used to track schedules, training, payroll, and communications for poll workers, according to Dean C. Logan, the county’s registrar-recorder/county clerk.
Konnech had to keep the data in the United States and only grant access to citizens and permanent residents, but instead store it on servers in the People’s Republic of China, the prosecutor’s office said.
The prosecutor’s office did not specify what exact information was allegedly taken. However, officials said only poll workers were affected, not voting machines or vote counts, and the election results were not altered.
“But security in all aspects of every election is essential so that we can all have complete confidence in the integrity of the electoral process,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement.
“With the mid-term general election 35 days away, we remain focused on ensuring there is no disruption in the administration of these elections,” said LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean C. Logan in a statement.
There is no evidence that a poll worker was bribed or extorted and an investigation is pending into whether data ended up in the wrong hands, the prosecutor’s office said.
Konnech previously said all of his American customers’ data is stored on servers in the United States, the Times reported Monday.
The newspaper reported that Konnech and Yu, who were born in China, have been the target of claims by election conspiracy theorists that the company has secret ties to the Chinese Communist Party and has provided information on 2 million election workers.
There was no evidence to support these claims, but Yu received threats and went into hiding, the newspaper said.
On its website, Konnech said it currently has 32 customers in North America.
https://www.wane.com/news/crime/__trashed-32/ CEO of a voting software company with ties to Allen County who is being held for stealing ID information