Ex-Uber engineer Levandowski pleads guilty to trade tricks theft

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Former Google and Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski leaves federal court in San Jose, California, after a hearing in September 2019.


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Anthony Levandowski, previous Google engineer and a leader of self-driving vehicle tech, accepted plead guilty Thursday to taking trade tricks from the web giant.

Levandowski left Google in 2016 to begin his own self-driving truck business, which was rapidly gotten by Uber for $680 million. These actions triggered a chain of occasions that caused Google’s self-governing car system, Waymo, taking legal action against Uber over declared theft of self-driving vehicle trade tricks. That suit settled in February 2018 with Uber consenting to pay Waymo $245 million.

The district attorneys arraigned Levandowski in August in a match that includes 33 counts of theft and tried theft of trade tricks from Google. The activities supposedly happened as he prepared to leave the search giant to develop out Uber’s self-driving vehicle operation. 

Levandowski pleaded guilty to one count of trade secret theft in a contract in which federal district attorneys accept drop the staying charges, according to a filing with the United States District Court of the Northern District of California. The plea brings an optimal sentence of 10 years in jail and an optimum fine of $250,000.

“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 stated in the filing.

No sentencing date has actually yet been set up.

Earlier this month, Levandowski was bought to pay $179 million to Google for stopping his task and breaking his agreement with the tech giant. Hours after the $179 million award to Google was completed Wednesday, Levandowski applied for Chapter 11 personal bankruptcy defense.

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