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Michigan election software executive arrested on suspicion of data theft

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Eugene Yu, chief executive officer of Konnech Corp., was arrested on suspicion of theft of personal identifying information after the company's election worker management system was utilized by Los Angeles County in the last California election. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/d313d159b3997c130bc66f190e1d8231/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Eugene Yu, chief executive officer of Konnech Corp., was arrested on suspicion of theft of personal identifying information after the company's election worker management system was utilized by Los Angeles County in the last California election. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 5 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office said a 2020 election denier target has been arrested in connection with an investigation into the possible theft of personal information from election poll workers.

Eugene Yu, chief executive officer of Konnech Corp., was arrested on suspicion of theft of personal identifying information by investigators from the District Attorney's Office Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Meridian Township Police Department in Michigan, Los Angeles officials said.

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"Data breaches are an ongoing threat to our digital way of life," Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement on Tuesday. "When we entrust a company to hold our confidential data, they must be willing and able to protect our personal identifying information from theft. Otherwise, we are all victims."

Konnech distributes and sells its proprietary PollChief software, which is an election worker management system that was utilized by the county in the last California election, the district attorney's office said.

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The software assists with poll worker assignments, communications and payroll. PollChief requires that workers submit personal identifying information, which 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 that only United States citizens and permanent residents have access to it," the district attorney's office said.

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"District Attorney investigators found that in contradiction to the contract, information was stored on servers in the People's Republic of China."

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Konnech had been the focus of conservative election deniers True the Vote, because of its alleged connection with China.

Gascon said, though, its investigation dealt with the information on poll workers and did not examine any issues regarding voter fraud.

"This investigation is concerned solely with the personal identifying information of election workers," he said. "In this case, 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."

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Konnech had sued True the Vote in September along with its founder Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips, an election denier who often works with the group. The company has charged in its lawsuit that True the Vote has engaged in defamation, theft and a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for illegally accessing one of its computers without authorization.

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