Election Software CEO Surrenders to LA Authorities; Prosecutors Allege ‘Massive Data Breach’

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LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles prosecutors on Oct. 14 accused the CEO of a Michigan-based election software company of being involved in a “massive” data breach affecting at least a thousand victims, including minors.

Eugene Yu, 64, who heads Konnech, a company that provides software to electoral districts for the management of poll workers, was charged with the felony crime of embezzlement of public funds. He appeared in a Los Angeles County court on Oct. 14.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office has accused Yu of stealing personal identifying information of poll workers. The office alleged that such data was stored on servers in China, in violation of Konnech’s contract with Los Angeles County.

Superior Court of Los Angeles County Judge Victoria Wilson ruled that Yu be released on a $500,000 bond and remain in house arrest until his next hearing, which is set for Nov. 17. Yu was ordered to remain in Los Angeles County and wear an ankle monitor.

Donning a gray suit, metal-rimmed eyeglasses, and a white N95 mask, the 64-year-old CEO seemed to be in good spirits in the courtroom, where he appeared alongside his four lawyers.

‘Astounding’ Data Breach

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Eric Neff alleged in court that the amount of data involved in the breach was “astounding,” adding that “this is probably the largest data breach in United States history.”

In Los Angeles alone, there were “probably thousands of victims,” Neff said. “They have contracts all over the country.”

He alleged that many minors’ data had been compromised because during the 2020 election, in the midst of the pandemic, the government had encouraged them to work at poll stations so that the elderly, who generally make up a large portion of poll workers, could stay at home.

It’s “a massive data breach,” Neff said.

By Eva Fu and Joyce Kuo

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