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Ex-Google engineer sentenced for theft

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An ex-engineer for Google’s self-driving automotive unit has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for commerce secret theft shortly earlier than he joined Uber.

US District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco mentioned Anthony Levandowski had carried out the “biggest trade secret crime I have ever seen”.

Levandowski loaded greater than 14,000 Google recordsdata onto his laptop computer earlier than leaving the firm in January 2016.

He led Uber’s robocar venture, solely to be fired in 2017 over this case.

Levandowski filed for chapter in March this 12 months as a result of he owes $179m (£136m) to Google’s father or mother firm, Alphabet, for his actions.

Judge Alsup mentioned “billions [of dollars] in the future were at play, and when those kind of financial incentives are there good people will do terrible things, and that’s what happened here”, studies Reuters information company.

Levandowski – who was a founding member of Google’s self-driving automotive venture, Waymo – had been hoping for a sentence of 12 months’ confinement at his residence within the San Francisco suburbs.

He mentioned he had pneumonia, and will die of coronavirus in jail.

But Judge Alsup mentioned a non-custodial sentence would quantity to “a green light to every future brilliant engineer to steal trade secrets”.

He dominated that Levandowski might start his custodial sentence after the Covid-19 pandemic had peaked.

Prosecutors had really helpful a 27-month sentence.

Levandowski, who now runs self-driving truck firm Pronto, mentioned in an announcement: “Today marks the end of three-and-a-half long years and the beginning of another long road ahead.”

Uber settled a lawsuit from Alphabet over the commerce secrets and techniques theft, however the dispute between the businesses continues.

According to TechCrunch, Levandowski is suing Uber for $4.1bn, stemming from its acquisition of his earlier self-driving truck start-up, Otto.

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