A judge in California on Nov. 9 dismissed charges against the CEO of an election software firm, who prosecutors had accused of being behind “probably the largest data breach in United States history.”
The Los Angeles Superior Court judge threw out charges of conspiracy and grand theft by embezzlement of public funds against Eugene Yu, the CEO of Konnech, at the request of Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon.
Konnech did not respond to a request for comment.
The office of Gascon, a Democrat, said the request stemmed from potential bias that it did not detail.
“We are concerned about both the pace of the investigation and the potential bias in the presentation and investigation of the evidence,” Tiffiny Blacknell, a spokeswoman for the office, told The Epoch Times in an email. “As a result, we have decided to ask the court to dismiss the current case, and alert the public in order to ensure transparency.”
Gary Lincenberg, an attorney representing Yu, said the dismissal shows that his client is innocent.
“Mr. Yu’s good name was tarnished by false narratives from fringe conspiracy theorists who bragged about enlisting Los Angeles prosecutors to further their political agenda. They have since been found in contempt of court and were imprisoned for their contempt. We are grateful that our judicial system still has checks and balances to guard against their dangerous conduct,” Lincenberg said in a statement to The Epoch Times.
He was referring to leaders of True the Vote, who were jailed after refusing to identify a person they described as a confidential FBI informant, but released from jail this week after an appeals court overruled the judge who issued the confinement order.
Konnech sued the leaders, Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips, alleging public comments the pair made defamed Yu, a Chinese-born American citizen, and Yu’s firm.
Some of the comments aligned with the charging documents against Yu, which alleged in part that he violated the contract Konnech signed with Los Angeles County by storing data on poll workers on servers in China.
“Under its $2.9 million, five-year contract with the county, Konnech was supposed to securely maintain the data and that only United States citizens and permanent residents have access to it. District Attorney investigators found that in contradiction to the contract, information was stored on servers in the People’s Republic of China,” Gascon’s office said in October.
Phillips testified in the defamation case that he was “told by L.A. County” that they had accessed the same data he viewed in 2021.
The charges against Yu were dismissed without prejudice. That means they can be refiled in the future.
Prosecutors have not ruled out refiling charges.
“We have assembled a new team with significant cyber security experience to determine whether any criminal activity occurred. We have also engaged an independent expert to continue to review the evidence. Our office has an ongoing obligation to continually reassess the case in light of all of the available evidence. We currently have an immense volume of digital data that will define this case, but the processing of that data will take months,” Blacknell said. “We would not be able to fairly and accurately process and present all of that evidence within the statutory timeframes. For all of the aforementioned reason, it is in the interest of justice to dismiss the current prosecution until all of the available evidence can be processed and understood.”
From The Epoch Times