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Los Angeles County to pay $5 million to election executive wrongly accused of data breach| GuyWhoKnowsThings

Los Angeles County agreed to pay $5 million to a top executive at an election software company who had been arrested and charged in 2022 with mishandling voter data in a case that prosecutors dismissed a few weeks later, the county said this week. executive's lawyer.

The payment, which resolves a lawsuit filed last year, is another turnaround for Eugene Yu, 66, co-founder of the software company Konnech.

Yu and his company faced a barrage of right-wing conspiracy theories after the 2020 election, including that Michigan-based Konnech had stored election data in China. Mr. Yu repeatedly denied sending data to China, including in an article by The New York Times about false claims as part of misinformation and election coverage.

Los Angeles prosecutors subsequently arrested Mr. Yu and raided his home and workplace. They charged him with embezzling public money by storing data on poll workers in China, a violation of his contract with the county, as well as conspiracy to commit a crime. Right-wing media pointed to the arrest as proof that accusations of widespread election interference were true.

Five weeks later, the district attorney dropped the charges, citing concerns about “possible bias in the presentation” of evidence.

Mr. Yu sued Los Angeles County last year, alleging that the arrest cost Mr. Yu and Konnech more than $80 million in lost business and other damages. His lawyers called the arrest “politically motivated” and “based solely on completely false conspiracy theories about Chinese election interference” in a press release announcing the lawsuit.

As part of the lawsuit settlement, the district attorney's office will not file charges against Mr. Yu. The office and Mr. Yu will also ask a judge to determine his innocence, according to Mr. Yu's lawyer.

Prosecutors have never clarified whether the company had actually stored data in China. The office and Los Angeles County did not respond to questions about the decision.

Gary S. Lincenberg, who represented Mr. Yu in his criminal trial, said: “Mr. Yu should never have suffered the wrongful arrest of him, the loss of his business or the deterioration of his good reputation.”

“But the agreement in his favor,” Lincenberg added, “represents a measure of compensation for the damage caused to him by the unjust accusation.”

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