Stocksak: Michigan’s election software company CEO seeks dismissal

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Nathan Layne

(Stocksak). On Thursday, the head of a Michigan-based election software company was accused of storing Chinese poll worker data in California. He is facing felony charges.

Eugene Yu, Konnech Inc’s founder and CEO, was accused of violating a contract with Los Angeles County that limits the sharing of personal information about election workers to citizens and permanent residents within the United States. He was charged for grand theft by embezzlement as well as conspiracy to commit crime.

Right-wing organizations that focus on voter fraud hailed Yu’s arrest earlier this month as a vindication to their warnings regarding the vulnerability of U.S. electoral systems, including to hacking of foreign adversaries.

Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office brought the charges. They said the investigation was triggered when Gregg Phillips, a Texas nonprofit that specializes in debunking voter-fraud claims, filed a complaint.

Yu’s lawyers filed a complaint to the Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles asking for the dismissal of the complaint. Yu argued that prosecutors had wrongly attempted to criminalize a contract dispute.

Alexis Wiseley, Thomas Reichert, Gary Lincenberg wrote that this was a deeply flawed prosecution. “This is an instance of civil breach of contract in which the victim has been dressed up in a costume it doesn’t suit.”

The spokesperson for the district attorney declined comment to discuss a pending motion.

This filing is the latest in a long-running dispute between Konnech, a small software company of 20 people that makes software to manage the scheduling and payroll for pollworkers, as well as the principals of True the Vote.

Phillips and Catherine Engelbrecht (founders of the organization) made a series incendiary claims regarding Yu and Konnech. They claimed that the company held sensitive personal information about 1.8 million poll workers in China. Yu was accused of being a Chinese operative.

Konnech claims the allegations are false. Last month, Phillips, Engelbrecht sued the organization for defamation.

This case is being handled in a Texas federal Court. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday to determine whether Phillips or Engelbrecht should be held in contempt of court for not complying last month with a temporary order.

Phillips and Engelbrecht lawyers did not respond to a request to comment.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne; Editing By Chris Reese

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