CEO of election software company arrested on "cyber intrusion" and "data breach" charges

The company Konnech, whose clients include Los Angeles County, has been accused of links to the Chinese Communist Party.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced the arrest of Eugene Wu, CEO of an election software company, suspected of stealing information and storing it on servers in China. Specifically, personal identifiers were allegedly stolen from poll workers. Gascón stressed that "the alleged conduct had no impact on the vote count and did not alter the electoral results."

The prosecutor's quick clarification is not only due to the sensitivity of the case, but also due to the short amount of time before the midterms. Several activist groups speaking out about fraud in the electoral system had long accused Konnech of links to the Chinese Communist Party.

Suspicions of links with the Chinese Communist Party

According to the official statement, Wu was arrested when "the district prosecutor's investigators discovered that, in contradiction with the contract, the information was stored on servers in the People's Republic of China." A five-year contract that will earn the company $2.9 million. It explicitly states that "Konnech would keep the data secure and that only U.S. citizens and permanent residents would have access to it," the release explains.

The arrest was made in Michigan, where the company is headquartered, extradition to Los Angeles has also been requested. Meridian Township police also seized several hard drives and digital material for examination.

Konnech regrets Yu's "wrongful arrest" and denies accusations

In a statement, Konnech denied the allegations and regretted "the wrongful arrest of Mr. Yu." The company again recalled that it has already denounced the group, True the Vote - who speak of fraud in the 2020 elections - for the accusations about its alleged relationship with Beijing and the "theft of electoral information."

"Any Los Angeles County poll worker data that Konnech may have possessed was provided to them by the County of Los Angeles and, therefore, could not have been 'stolen' as suggested," the release stated.

Viral accusation on social networks

For its part, True the Vote released a statement highlighting its participation. In it, the group "is honored to have played a small part in what must have been a large and complex investigation."

True the Vote reported that it had downloaded the personal information of 1.8 million U.S. poll workers from a server owned by Konnech and hosted in China. This information went viral on different media networks and even caused the company to lose contracts.