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Arrest made in LA election worker data theft

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Tuesday an arrest in connection with an investigation into the theft of personal data of election workers.

The suspect, a Chief Financial Officer out of Michigan, is accused of stealing personal data from LA County election workers. The CFO is currently in custody in Michigan.

Konnech Corp. CEO Eugene Yu was arrested on suspicion of theft of personal identifying information by investigators from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Meridian Township Police Department, District Attorney George Gascón said.

Investigators also seized hard drives and other digital evidence, he said.

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

But investigators determined that information collected by the company was stored on servers in the People’s Republic of China, the district attorney said.

“I want to thank my prosecutors and investigators for their commitment to eliminating cyber intrusions against government entities and local businesses,” Gascón said in a statement. “Data breaches are an ongoing threat to our digital way of life. 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.”

Gascón said the investigation “is concerned solely with the personal identifying information of election workers. 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.”

Michigan-based Konnech distributes and sells its proprietary PollChief software, which is an election worker management system that was used by the county in the last election. The software, which assists with poll worker assignments, communications and payroll, requires workers to submit personal identifying information, which is retained by the Konnech, according to the DA’s Office.

Gascón added in a press conference that the data was not related to registered voter information or election material.

The suspect was in a contract with the county for payroll and scheduling of election workers. Investigators learned of stolen data during a separate investigation.

Investigators added there was no impact on elections, calculations of votes, or election results due to the theft.

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