Election software exec arrested for alleged personal ID theft, storing data in China, California DA

Officials say investigation is concerned solely with the personal identifying information of election workers. 

Updated: October 5, 2022 - 8:25am

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An executive with a Michigan-based company whose software was used in managing Los Angeles County election poll workers has been arrested as part of an investigation into the possible theft of their personal identity, according to the county district attorney.

Konnech Corporation CEO Eugene Yu was taken into custody Tuesday by members of the District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation on suspicion of theft of personal identifying information. They were assisted in part by the Meridian Township Police Department in Michigan. 

Authorities in taking Yu into custody in Michigan also seized hard drives and other digital evidence, county District Attorney George Gascon said.

"When we entrust a company to hold our confidential data, they must be willing and able to protect our personal identifying information from theft," Gascon said. "Otherwise, we are all victims."

Yu has reportedly been the focus of those who have raised concerns about voting fraud, particularly in the 2020 elections.

However, the office said the Yu investigation is concerned solely with the personal identifying information of election workers. 

"The alleged conduct had no impact on the tabulation of votes and did not alter election results. But security in all aspects of any election is essential so that we all have full faith in the integrity of the election process," the office said in a statement

Konnech distributes and sells its proprietary PollChief software, an election-worker management system that was used by the county in the last California election. 

The software assists with poll-worker assignments, communications and payroll. PollChief requires that workers submit personal identifying information that is retained by the Konnech.  

Under its $2.9 million, five-year contract with the county, Konnech was supposed to securely maintain the data and ensure that only U.S. citizens and permanent residents have access to it.

District attorney office investigators found that information was stored on servers in the People’s Republic of China, in apparent violation of the contract.

The office is seeking Yu’s extradition to Los Angeles. 

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