Soros-Backed L.A. DA Drops Charges Against China-Connected Election Software Company CEO Because of ‘Potential Bias,’ ‘Pace of Investigation’


Despite evidence obtained with a search warrant showing that Eugene Yu—CEO of Michigan-based voting software firm Konnech—was using third-party contractors in China to implement his company’s poll worker software in Los Angeles County’s 2020 elections—in direct violation of his contract with the county—Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has dropped the charges against him. A spokesperson for Gascón, who became DA with the help of $2.25 million in campaign funds from George Soros, claims the charges were dropped because of (an undefined) “potential bias” in the “presentation and investigation of the evidence” against Yu, as well as “the pace of the investigation.”

In mid-October of this year Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón’s office filed charges against the CEO of Michigan-based election software company Konnech Inc., alleging the chief executive and his employees were providing “poll worker management software” for L.A. County’s 2020 elections using third-party contractors based in China: a clear violation of Konnech’s contract with the county. Now, however, Gascón—who received $2.25 million in campaign funding from George Soros in 2020—has dropped the charges against Konnech’s CEO; citing an utterly undefined “potential bias” as well as the “pace of the investigation” into the matter.

As The Epoch Times recently reported a Los Angeles Superior Court judge threw out the charges against Konnech’s CEO—51-year-old Chinese immigrant Eugene Yu—at the request of the District Attorney’s office. Tiffiny Blacknell, a spokeswoman for Gascón’s office, told The Epoch Times in an email that “We are concerned about both the pace of the investigation and the potential bias in the presentation and investigation of the evidence.” As a result, Blacknell added, “we have decided to ask the court to dismiss the current case, and alert the public in order to ensure transparency.”

Link to charges brought against Konnech CEO Eugene Yu

The charges against Yu—which were dismissed without prejudice, meaning they can be refiled at a later time—noted that during the period between October 10, 2019 and October 4, 2022 Yu and other employees at Konnech were providing their poll worker software to L.A. County “using third-party contractors based in China.” The charges brought against Yu specifically noted that “Based on evidence recovered from a search warrant executed October 4, 2020, the District Attorney’s Office discovered that Konnech employees known and unknown sent personal identifying information of Los Angeles County election workers to [these] third-party software developers who assisted with creating and fixing Konnech’s internal ‘PollChief’ software.”

The DA’s charges against the Konnech’s CEO also included evidence of Konnech’s project manager for its contract with Los Angeles County Luis Nabergoi confirming via a message on app DingTalk that any employee for Chinese contractors working on PollChief software had “superadministration” privileges for all PollChief clients. The DA’s arrest warrant added that Nabergoi described those privileges as a “huge security issue.”

Link to charges brought against Konnech CEO Eugene Yu

Nabergoi even sent an internal email to Konnech employees stating that the company was “moving to a new stage in the company maturity and [needs] to ensure the security privacy and confidentiality or [sic] our client data… .” The arrest warrant added that Nabergoi additionally said that in order to fix the huge security issue, “personal identifying information would no longer be included in the fixing of Konnech’s PollChief software.” (The DA’s words.)

A handful of other charges were also brought against Yu, including the allegation that he and his company embezzled $2.64 million from its contract with Los Angeles County.

Link to tweet

Prior to Yu’s arrest (and subsequent release), Konnech had put out a statement dubbed “The Truth About Konnech” on its website, which responded to a series of allegations from Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips claiming that the election software company “is affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party and stores personal information about American poll workers on servers in China.” (Konnech’s phrasing.) Konnech said in its statement that Engelbrecht, the founder of election watchdog group True the Vote, and Phillips, a True the Vote board member, had made “defamatory allegations” that were “categorically and demonstrably false” and were “clearly based on ignorance, racism and xenophobia.”

When Engelbrecht and Phillips took the evidence upon which they’d based their claims to Gascón’s office in Los Angeles, however, the DA evidently found that the two “conspiracy theorists” (paraphrasing Konnech’s label used in its “Truth” statement) had provided sufficient evidence to bring charges against Yu.

While Yu had been charged and arrested for embezzlement and other contract violations on October 4 of this year, however, Konnech had already filed a lawsuit against Engelbrecht and Phillips in September. That lawsuit—which apparently continues on as of this writing—claimed that Engelbrecht and Phillips had “intentionally, repeatedly, and relentlessly attacked Konnech and its founder Eugene Yu with Defendants’ unique brand of racism and xenophobia [and with] their completely baseless claims that Konnech, its founder, and employees are ‘Chinese operatives’… .” The lawsuit went on to say that Engelbrecht and Phillips had lied about Konnech being the subject of a long-running FBI counterintelligence investigation, and about Konnech having connections to the Chinese Communist Party, amongst other claimed falsehoods.

During the lawsuit, when Engelbrecht and Phillips refused to produce the identity of the Konnech informant who had blown the whistle on the election software company’s alleged illegal activities, the Texas federal district court judge in the case threw the pair from True the Vote in a federal detention facility for contempt of court. A week after the judge had Engelbrecht and Phillips imprisoned, however, a Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge overturned the order to take them into custody and had them released. (You can see the moment they were released in the video immediately above.)

Catherine Engelbrecht / Image: Gage Skidmore

Although Gascón has dropped the charges against Yu, and he has been released from custody, it seems there are many other proverbial red flags surrounding Konnech’s CEO. Investigative journalist Kanekoa The Great (a.k.a. Kanekoa News) on Substack, for example, says that Yu, whose Chinese name is Jianwei Yu (于建伟), founded a Chinese election company—Jinhua Yulian Network Technology Co.—three years after founding Konnech in Michigan, for example. Kanekoa notes that Yu has the website for the Chinese election company registered to his email address associated with Konnech, however, and points out that, in a 2013 archived version of Yu’s website, he claimed that “We hope to ride on the spring breeze of political reform and provide [clients] with election consulting services and election campaign management in line with China’s national conditions based on our democratic election campaigns with Chinese characteristics.”

Kanekoa also notes that—despite the fact that Konnech says it doesn’t supply any software that has to do with voting per se—Yu’s Chinese voting software company (Jinhua Yulian Network Technology Co.) does in at least one instance: with U.S. overseas elections.

Indeed, in an archived page outlining “customer case” scenarios, the company says that its “US Overseas Voter Election Management System” is able to integrate “powerful online functions such as voter data management, voter ID multi-factor authentication, voter ballot tracking, and statistical report analysis.” Jinhua Yulian’s website also notes “All overseas voters can access the overseas election management website through the Internet.” (Furthermore, Kanekoa points out that Yu’s Chinese election software company also claims to have provided “election management solutions” for Detroit.)

As for where the charges against Yu stand, Blacknell (Gascón’s spokeswoman) says that the DA’s office has “assembled a new team with significant cyber security experience to determine whether any criminal activity occurred.” Blacknell has also said that Gascón’s team has engaged “an independent expert to continue to review the evidence” and that their office “has an ongoing obligation to continually reassess the case in light of all of the available evidence.”

True to Vote, likewise, appears to be carrying on with its mission, in its case in its capacity as an election watchdog in the U.S. The organization is perhaps now best known for providing the research for Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary film 2,000 Mules. In the documentary—the trailer for which is immediately above—D’Souza, along with Engelbrecht, Phillips, and others, expose rampant ballot fraud that occurred in several states during the 2020 presidential election.

Feature image: Joshua Woroniecki

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