President Donald Trump connected Wednesday pardoned Anthony Levandowski, a erstwhile Google and Uber technologist and self-driving car adept who was sentenced to 18 months successful situation successful August 2020 for stealing commercialized secrets from Google.
Levandowski pioneered self-driving car exertion astatine Google and made millions. He discontinue the institution to recovered Otto, a self-driving motortruck startup that helium sold to ride-hailing elephantine Uber successful 2016 for an estimated $680 million. A twelvemonth later, Google’s self-driving car portion Waymo sued Uber alleging that Levandowski had taken thousands of Google files, including confidential merchandise designs, with him earlier helium left.
The companies yet settled erstwhile Uber offered Waymo astir $250 cardinal successful banal and agreed not to interruption the company’s intelligence property.
But successful August 2019, national prosecutors charged Levandowski with 33 counts of theft and attempted theft. In March past year, Levandowski pleaded blameworthy to 1 number of commercialized secrets theft and admitted to downloading thousands of interior Google documents onto his idiosyncratic computer. In summation to the 18-month sentence, helium was besides ordered to wage a $95,000 good and $756,500 successful restitution. A justice agreed to fto Levandowski enactment retired of situation until the extremity of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Mr. Levandowski has paid a important terms for his actions and plans to give his talents to beforehand the nationalist good,” the White House said successful a statement connected the last time of Trump's presidency announcing the pardon on with dozens of others. The White House called Levandowski “an American entrepreneur who led Google’s efforts to make self-driving technology.”
Among the radical supporting the pardon are Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, a longtime Trump supporter, and Oculus laminitis Palmer Luckey, who erstwhile donated wealth to a pro-Trump nonprofit associated with the alt-right.
A Waymo spokesperson declined to remark connected Levandowski’s pardon. Uber did not respond to a petition for comment.