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Anthony Levandowski Pleads Guilty To Stealing Waymo Trade Secrets

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Anthony Levandowski, the star self-driving car engineer who left Google to join Uber has pleaded guilty to stealing trade secrets. Levandowski joined Uber when it bought his autonomous truck company, Otto.


He was in the middle of a lawsuit between Uber and Google’s car company, Waymo.


“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 states in the plea agreement.


Levandowski was earlier ordered to pay a fine of $ 179 million, after which he filed for bankruptcy.


There are 33 counts of allegations against Levandowski including theft and attempting to steal trade secrets. He allegedly stole 14,000 documents frim Google before founding and selling Otto to Uber.


However, he is agreeing to one charge in exchange for prosecutors dropping the remaining 32. He’s also admitting to downloading a Waymo spreadsheet and accessing it after leaving Google.


Anthony Levandowski is one of the most renowned names in the autonomous car industry. Photo: PAUL MORRIS/GETTY IMAGES.
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“Mr. Levandowski’s guilty plea in a criminal hearing today brings to an end a seminal case for our company and the self-driving industry and underscores the value of Waymo’s intellectual property.


“Through today’s development and related cases, we are successfully protecting our intellectual property as we build the world’s most experienced driver,” a Waymo spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Prison time for Levandowski?

Levandowski could still serve prison time despite his plea bargain. He agreed to a maximum fine of $250,000 and a maximum prison term of 10 years. However, prosecutors may recommend around 24 to 30 months in prison.


His attorney, Miles Ehrlich added in an email:


“Mr. Levandowski accepts responsibility and is looking forward to resolving this matter. Mr. Levandowski is a young man with enormous talents and much to contribute to the fast-moving world of AI and AV and we hope that this plea will allow him to move on with his life and focus his energies where they matter most.”


The final judgment will mean much for tech workers in the future. Stay with us and keep updated on what happens to Anthony Levandowski.


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