According to a new whistleblower lawsuit, election data firm Konnech Inc. and its founder Eugene Yu Konnech transferred data on American poll workers to China. These allegations raise important questions about the FBI’s involvement in Konnech’s investigation and the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office’s decision to drop the criminal case against Yu.
Grant Bradley, a former employee of Konnech, filed a complaint in December in Michigan state court under oath, providing an insider’s view of the operations of the election data firm that provided “election logistic software” to 32 clients in North America using “developers, designers, and coders who are all Chinese nationals based in Wuhan, China.”
Bradley asserts in his current lawsuit that he “worked with the Chinese programmers on a daily basis,” and “witnessed customer’s data (specifically poll watcher information) being made accessible to foreign nationals from China.” Bradley claims that when he voiced concerns about foreign nationals having access to the data, his managers responded that “everyone [other software companies like Microsoft and Apple] was doing it.”
The revision reflects a modification in Bradley’s allegations made in September 2022, when he stated that he “did not know the full extent of the information provided to the Chinese nationals.”
The update was reported by Margot Cleveland for the Federalist.
Konnech’s lawsuit against True the Vote followed a series of podcasts the organization’s founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, and a former board member who works closely with her, Gregg Phillips, participated in starting in August of 2022. During those podcasts, the duo claimed they had been assisting the FBI to expose Konnech’s purported use of a server in China to store election workers’ personal identifying information. In one podcast, they announced they were working with people “to bring this work to, to a grand jury for the first time,” and that they have the “support of, of a major prosecutorial office in the United States … and [that] they are moving this along.”
Bradley said in his lawsuit that he “began to investigate the extent of the information provided to the Chinese programmers by Defendants Yu and Konnech” after True the Vote began making claims against Konnech. Bradley said that he “immediately set out to locate alternative employment” but was unable to do so prior to the police raid on Konnech on October 4, 2022.
Following Yu’s arrest, Bradley alleged that he “was told by his supervisors not to speak with the police or cooperate in their investigation of Defendants Yu and Konnech’s activities,” but Bradley said he “ignored the directive of his supervisors.” Instead, Bradley claims, he “asked to meet with the police on the day of the raid so that he could provide them with handwritten notes and other electronic evidence he believes further substantiates Defendants’ illegal activities.”
Within days of Bradley’s decision to assist with authorities, Yu and Konnech terminated him, according to the lawsuit, which subsequently made claims under the Michigan Whistleblowers’ Protection Act and wrongful termination under state law.
Bradley’s complaint includes two further noteworthy charges.
First, Bradley claimed that his reputation had been destroyed by “the choice of Defendants to illegally keep material on servers located in China.” This claim implies that Konnech did, in fact, store data on “servers located in China,” and this possibility reignites issues over the FBI’s role in the investigation of Konnech and the L.A. district attorney’s decision to withdraw criminal charges against Yu.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
The L.A. County D.A.’s office was also working with True the Vote and had indicted Yu following an independent investigation launched based on evidence that Phillips had shared with county officials. And that indictment led to Yu’s arrest in Michigan and Bradley’s cooperation with investigating officers.
Following Yu’s arrest, the L.A. County D.A.’s office issued a press release stating that Konnech had “stored on servers in the People’s Republic of China” the personal information of election workers, in violation of the county’s $2.9 million, five-year contract that required Konnech to securely maintain the data and only allow United States citizens and permanent residents to have access to it. CONTINUE READING…