President Donald Trump pardoned Anthony Levandowski, a former Google and Uber engineer and a pioneer of self-driving car tech who plead guilty last year to stealing trade secrets from the internet giant.
Levandowski first worked at Google but left the company in 2016 to start his own self-driving truck company, which was quickly acquired by Uber for $680 million. That led to Google’s autonomous vehicle unit, Waymo, suing Uber over alleged theft of self-driving car trade secrets. That lawsuit settled in February 2018 with Uber agreeing to pay Waymo $245 million.
Prosecutors also charged Levandowski with 33 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets from Google. He plead guilty to one count of trade secret theft in an agreement in which federal prosecutors to drop the remaining charges.
“I downloaded these files with the intent to use them for my own personal benefit, and I understand that I was not authorized to take the files for this purpose,” Levandowski said in a filing last Marc with the US District Court of the Northern District of California.
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