President Donald Trump on Wednesday pardoned Anthony Levandowski, a former Google and Uber engineer and self-driving automotive professional who was sentenced to 18 months in jail in August 2020 for stealing commerce secrets and techniques from Google.
Levandowski pioneered self-driving automotive know-how at Google and made hundreds of thousands. He stop the corporate to discovered Otto, a self-driving truck startup that he offered to ride-hailing large Uber in 2016 for an estimated $680 million. A 12 months later, Google’s self-driving automotive unit Waymo sued Uber alleging that Levandowski had taken 1000’s of Google information, together with confidential product designs, with him earlier than he left.
The businesses ultimately settled when Uber provided Waymo practically $250 million in inventory and agreed to not infringe on the corporate’s mental property.
However in August 2019, federal prosecutors charged Levandowski with 33 counts of theft and tried theft. In March final 12 months, Levandowski pleaded responsible to at least one rely of commerce secrets and techniques theft and admitted to downloading 1000’s of inner Google paperwork onto his personal computer. Along with the 18-month sentence he was additionally ordered to pay a $95,000 effective and $756,500 in restitution. A choose agreed to let Levandowski keep out of jail till the tip of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Mr. Levandowski has paid a big worth for his actions and plans to dedicate his skills to advance the general public good,” the White Home mentioned in a statement on the ultimate day of Trump’s presidency asserting the pardon together with dozens of others. The White Home known as Levandowski “an American entrepreneur who led Google’s efforts to create self-driving know-how.”
Among the many individuals supporting the pardon are Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, a longtime Trump supporter, and Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, who as soon as donated cash to a pro-Trump non-profit related to the alt-right.
A Waymo spokesperson declined to touch upon Levandowski’s pardon. Uber didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.